Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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George Russell must resist the temptation to join Red Bull if he is not offered a seat at Mercedes for the 2022 F1 season. The 23-year-old has impressed at Williams despite not yet scoring a point for them in his career.
Russell is battling Valtteri Bottas for the second Mercedes seat after Lewis Hamilton signed a new two-year contract at the team.
The youngster stepped into the Silver Arrows last year for the Sakhir Grand Prix when the world champion was absent due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Russell looked like he could well win the race until he was let down by Mercedes in the pit stops.
Since then he has only enhanced his reputation making it out of Q1 on every occasion this season despite being in one of the slowest cars on the grid.
In contrast, Bottas has struggled to keep up with the pace set by Max Verstappen and Hamilton and sits down in fifth in the Drivers’ Championship behind Sergio Perez and Lando Norris as well.
Earlier this week, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko admitted he has been impressed with Russell and it would be silly for them not to be monitoring the Briton.
“Russell is certainly worth considering with the performances he is now showing at Williams,” Marko said.
“The only thing is, that’s so Utopian, because if Mercedes let him go, that would be such a faux pas, that I honestly can’t imagine it.”
Russell has not slammed the door shut on the idea of joining Red Bill either.
Russell said on the F1 Nations podcast: “I always try to keep every relationship open. I’m not someone who likes to slam doors.
“If someone invited me for a chat, I wouldn’t say no. You never know what will happen in the future.”
Russell must go to Mercedes though and carry on their dominance from Hamilton in recent years.
Red Bull may be having an impressive year but it is clear Verstappen is their priority and you have seen that in the struggles of the second driver at the team in recent seasons.
Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon and even Sergio Perez this year have all struggled to get anywhere close.
While that may be the case at Mercedes with Hamilton initially, the seven-time champion is in the twilight of his career and Russell would be the natural successor to take the team on afterwards.
His pace is proven with his qualifying performances and the only question marks surround his race craft because of the Williams being largely stuck towards the back of the field.
Toto Wolff has made it clear he believes in Russell and even if he is not given the nod for 2022 he must stay patient.
He will end up with an offer from Mercedes, it just is a case of waiting if it isn’t for next season.
That patience would pay off as Russell has all the tools to become a future F1 world champion with the Silver Arrows ready to bounce back when new regulations are introduced next year.
The 2021 season continues this weekend with the British Grand Prix.
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