F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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George Russell has made it clear what his next move will be if Mercedes opt to stick with Valtteri Bottas, according to Williams CEO Jost Capito. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff stated over the weekend that a decision on who will partner Lewis Hamilton from next season will be made by September at the latest.
It was expected that an announcement would be made during the summer break, but it appears as though Mercedes want to take some more time.
Valtteri Bottas is fighting to keep his seat at Mercedes with Russell impressing enough to put him in the conversation.
Wolff has made no secret that he would like to see Russell drive for Mercedes in the future having been a member of their junior driver’s programme.
There has been ongoing speculation that Russell could have taken a seat at Mercedes in previous years.
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But Wolff wanted to respect the three-year contract he signed with Williams with the young British driver gaining some valuable experience.
The 23-year-old has consistently performed above expectations at Williams and picked up his first points for the team at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Russell is well respected in the Williams team and they’re desperate to keep hold of him.
Capito accepts that Williams can’t do anything to stand in Russell’s way should Mercedes make the call.
But the Williams team principal has confirmed that Russell is equally happy to stay at Williams should Mercedes opt to stick with Bottas.
“For us, it’s not even worthwhile thinking about it because that is a Mercedes decision,” Capito told GPFans.
“If they take him, they take him. If not, he will stay.
“At the moment, he would like to stay if he doesn’t get the Mercedes call because he likes the team.
“He sees how it’s going forward. If he doesn’t go to Mercedes, we’ll be more than happy to keep him, of course.
“But there’s nothing that we can do now. We’re just focusing on the season, race-by-race and go from there.
“It’s massively impressive how George handles the situation. He doesn’t get taken away by ‘Do I have to wait? When is the call? Do I have to get it? Do I not get it?’
“He is so cool on that and focused on what he has to do for Williams. This is really very impressive.”
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