Russell ‘keeping relationships open’ outside Mercedes, just in case
George Russell has every intention of remaining loyal to Mercedes, but the Briton is nevertheless keeping his relationships beyond the German outfit open, because “you never know what happens in the future”.
Russell is currently in his third season of F1 with Williams, but the 23-year-old remains contracted to Mercedes, and many believe the Brackley will reward its talented protégé with a plum drive alongside Lewis Hamilton from 2022 as he replaces Valtteri Bottas.
Earlier this week, Red Bull motorsport Helmut Marko expressed his interest in Russell, saying that he would seriously consider bringing the Williams charger into the Red Bull family if Mercedes failed to promote the Briton and made him a free agent, a very improbable scenario Marko admitted.
Regarding his future, Russell revealed that he is keeping his channels open, just in case.
“I am a Mercedes driver and I am currently loyal to Mercedes,” Russell said on the latest episode of the F1 Nation podcast.
“They have stood by my side since day one and given me all of my opportunities. I trust that they have my best interests at heart.
“But I always like to keep a relationship open with everyone really. I never like to close any doors and if somebody asked for a conversation then I would never say no.
“You never know what happens in the future and things change pretty drastically.
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“You only have to look at Stefano [Domenicali]. He was team principal of Ferrari and now he is the CEO of Formula 1. I guess maybe 10 years ago, you might not have predicted that.”
Read also: Russell denies Mercedes deal will be announced at British GP
While everyone awaits Mercedes’ decision, Russell is determined to keep his head down and perform to the best of his ability with Williams as he’s all too aware of how fast a driver can fall out of flavour.
“You can never let up. This is the unique thing about Formula 1 in that there’s only 20 race seats in the world,” he commented.
“And if you start to lose form and the results aren’t coming in and you somehow lose your seat, then there are no guarantees that you will get it back.
“In football, if you lose your form, you might be on the bench for a couple of weeks but then you can prove yourself in training.
“Or if it’s tennis and you lose your form then you may drop down the world rankings, but you can work yourself up back into the top 10 or world number one.
“In Formula 1, if you’re 25th in the world, you don’t have a job.”
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