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Russell cannot foresee Mercedes switch in 2020

Williams - cropped
George Russell of Williams
Modified 01 Aug 2019, 20:32 IST

George Russell has suggested a move from Williams to Formula One champions Mercedes is unlikely to happen ahead of the 2020 season.

Russell, who is a Mercedes junior, won Formula Two in 2018, though is yet to get on the board in his debut F1 campaign.

Mercedes currently occupy the top two places in the driver standings, but they are yet to decide on who will partner Lewis Hamilton next season.

Valtteri Bottas has impressed this season, with team boss Toto Wolff having stated prior to the German Grand Prix that Mercedes were holding off on a decision over the Finnish driver and Esteban Ocon in regards to their second seat for 2020.

However, reports that emerged in the build up to the Hungarian Grand Prix claimed Russell was also being considered for a place on the team.

But the 21-year-old is not getting carried away, insisting he is happy to remain with Williams at least for the time being.

"Personally I'd say very, very unlikely, but everything is always possible. This sport changes by the day," Russell told reporters when asked about the rumours.

"I think any driver would love the opportunity to drive in the championship-winning car. That would be absolutely stupid to go against that.

"I am fully focused on the job, and I will leave the political stuff to Mercedes and Williams to discuss. I'm just focused on my job here at Williams. But if I want to be in a championship-winning car, all I need to focus on is doing the job at hand.


"The fact is I'm contracted to Williams, and the fact is that I'm a Mercedes junior driver. I don't really get into the contractual nitty-gritty things.

"From my side, I'm learning so much here at Williams. I am still thoroughly enjoying being an F1 driver and the development process. But the fact is every driver wants to win races and wants the opportunity to win championships."

Should Russell move to Mercedes, he would have five-time champion Hamilton to compete with.

"I obviously really and truly believe in myself," Russell said. "If I ever were to get that opportunity, it would be stupid to think I could go in there and beat Lewis at the first race. 

"I feel like the potential is there. You always learn with every single race, every single year with the experience.

"If the opportunity were to come, I’d feel absolutely confident I could take it with both hands, and quickly learn as much as possible, and be there ready to really deliver after a couple of races."

Published 01 Aug 2019, 20:32 IST
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