Leclerc and Verstappen agree: Russell ‘deserves more’

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen both agree that George Russell deserves to get the call-up from Mercedes for 2022.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has hinted at a decision by mid-September on who will be racing alongside Lewis Hamilton at the Brackley squad next season, with the choice boiling down to Russell and incumbent Valtteri Bottas.

The consensus in the F1 paddock points to the Williams driver filling the plum seat at Mercedes in 2022, and Leclerc believes that Russell’s performances fully warrant a move to the championship winning team.

“It’s great if George gets that seat because he deserves it,” said the Ferrari driver who was promoted to the Scuderia after just a single year with Sauber.

“It is always very difficult to judge in Formula 1, because the cars are so different and obviously with George being at Williams it is always difficult to judge how much of a good job he’s doing.

“He’s consistently there and showing good things and also in the past I’ve raced with him and I know how strong George is.

“So, he definitely deserves that spot and I think it would be great to have such a talented driver in that seat.”

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Championship contender Max Verstappen is on the same page as Leclerc regarding Russell’s prospects.

“For sure George is very quick and he can’t stay where he is forever, I think he deserves more,” said the Red Bull driver.

“At the end of the day it is up to Mercedes to make the call, right, so it’s not really from my side.

“But for sure I rate him as a driver, and he is still very young, so it’s natural that at some point they move up, especially the good drivers.”

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