Williams CEO Jost Capito says it is still unknown whether George Russell will be promoted to Mercedes for 2022 instead of Valtteri Bottas. The future of the extremely talented young Briton is still uncertain and hangs in the air awaiting some sort of official confirmation from Mercedes as they want to solve the question of Valtteri Bottas: stay or departure.
Rumors that Russell, who joined the Mercedes program for young drivers in 2017, will join the German team are getting louder. Many in the paddock claim that Williams' driver will be behind the wheel of the German team.
In fact, Russell is no stranger to driving for Mercedes, as he replaced Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain in the 2020 season while the seven-time world champion tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, after the end of the first part of the season at the Hungaroring, the British driver was again behind the wheel of a Mercedes and tested Pirrelli's 18-inch tires.
Capito on the situation
However, Williams ’CEO disagrees with these rumors and assures that it is not yet certain whether the 23-year-old will join Mercedes. "First, it is not yet certain whether George will really go to Mercedes, and for me, it is, of course, difficult because I cannot have concrete conversations with anyone until George really leaves," Capito told German Sport1.
The Williams CEO would most like to keep Russell, but he also adds that he would not stand in the way of this young driver - claiming that he should get one of the best cars in Formula 1 as soon as possible. "I would like to keep George.
But I would never put obstacles in the way of a young driver. If he has a chance to go to Mercedes, I will fully support him." "He has the potential to become a world champion and he should get into one of the best cars in F1 as soon as possible, "he explains.
Williams ’main man was then asked if Nico Hulkenberg was the driver who would replace Russell if they were left without him with next season. "When I say I've talked to everyone who doesn't have a contract but would like to have one, I don't have to say the name (he laughed)."
“Williams’ uptrend has made Williams the most wanted team for all drivers who don’t have a contract for next year. My phone rings every day. I talk to everyone. We have very good opportunities to get very good drivers, "concluded Capito.