George Russell has been coy over admitting to any talks with Mercedes about replacing Valtteri Bottas after his poor start to the Formula 1 season, but as Bottas rallied somewhat when the rumours broke of an imminent announcement, it appears any such annoucement could be delayed – Russell makes his hints that talks are ongoing, however.
“A decision will be made over the summer break,” Russell said revealing that there must be a dialog with Toto Wolff.
“Whether anything will be announced about my future is another matter. These things are never easy for a driver and a team, whether they change teams or stay with the same one.”
“There is always a long process. I’m sure a decision will be made this summer, but when will it be announced? Who knows? All I’m focused on is having fun this weekend and trying to score points.”
Russell being diplomatic knows that an announcement such as the one we’re all expecting would cause a huge rift within the team who are currently locked in battle with Red Bull and Max Verstappen. The role of the 2nd driver in both teams is ever important. It is fair to say Bottas is perhaps playing a better role in this regard compared to his counterpart at Red Bull, Sergio Perez.
In the weeks following the strong rumours around Bottas’s departure, the Finn certainly started showing more of a penchant for disregarding team orders. Something Wolff will be keen to nip in the bud and realign his team.
Russell for now continues with the rhetoric of focusing on the here and now.
“My ambitions and goals are incredibly clear – I want to be a Formula One champion, but I would never put my own agenda or goals above the teams, no matter who my team-mate is. It’s the same at Williams at the moment.”
“I would never do anything that would damage my relationship with my teammate, and I recognise that in order to achieve your own goals you need the team to be working hard, that the team spirit and the dynamics need to be at their best just to be able to achieve the team’s goal. If the team succeeds, then as a driver you have a chance. But as I said, I would never put my goals above the team’s goals.”
“It’s business as usual, to be honest. I’m very relaxed about it all. Whatever happens will happen, one way or another it’s what’s best for the long term. I turn every situation to my advantage and I never believe in luck or bad luck. You get what you deserve in life.”
“My aspirations and goals are clear: I want to become world champion and I want to be in the car that will give me the best opportunity to achieve that. But I don’t want to think about it over the summer holidays, I’m just going to enjoy it.”
“It’s been a very intense start to the year, it’s going to be a very intense second half of the year. My number one goal is to perform on the track… I’ll have a week of training, the other week will probably be five days off. You have to recharge your batteries.”