George Russell hopes to have the same commitment as Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes if he has good performance and is a team player, and he is of the opinion that the Finn was a key figure for the Silver Arrows. At certain stages of the 2021 season, speculation has surfaced that Silver Arrows could replace Bottas with Russell before the end of the year.
That didn’t happen, but the Briton signed as a 2022 Mercedes driver in September last year, while the Finnish driver was given a multi-year contract at Alfa Romeo. Valtteri spent five seasons with the German team, during which time he helped the team reach the same number of constructive titles, Mercedes won a total of eight in a row, which is a new record.
Russell says he has great respect for the great affection Valtteri had for Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and other team members. “What I admire so much about Mercedes and Toto is how loyal they are to theirs,” Russell told Motor Sport Magazine podcast.
“Valtteri was a key figure and a key driver for them who helped them stay all these world championships on that path. There are a lot of people (who) can say some negative things or (say things about him) that he is out of the pace of Lewis Hamilton, ”he explains.
"He's been an incredibly important part of all that success, and they want to reward that loyalty - and maybe if he's had one or two bad races over the last year, he won't just take out his ax and say, thank you very much, see you later."
"They don't do it like that. They give people a full opportunity and a full chance. I am 23 years old. There is no need for them to hurry. We have a whole future ahead of us. ”
George Russell on Bottas
After seeing the affection Mercedes and Wolff have shown towards Bottas, Russell hopes to be given the same treatment if he is a good team player.
"I guess that loyalty brings faith to me as a driver, as well as the 2,000 employees that Mercedes has between Brackley and Brixworth," explains the Briton. “If I work hard and if I have a good performance, they will reward me with that loyalty and I don't have to worry about my job or my future."
"So that's what I really admire about these people, and they certainly do things quite differently from other teams on the grid. " "Therefore, I must be very grateful to have Toto as my boss, I'm sure.
That loyalty he showed to Valtteri, if I perform well, he will show me and everyone else on the team when they do a good job. ”