George Russell, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Russell will not be announced as a Mercedes driver for 2022 at British Grand Prix

2021 British Grand Prix

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George Russell has denied suggestions Mercedes will announce him as their new driver for the 2022 F1 season ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Mercedes confirmed Lewis Hamilton as one of their two drivers for next year during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. Russell, a Mercedes junior driver, is known to be under consideration for the second seat as a potential replacement for Valtteri Bottas.

However the Williams racer denied the reigning world champions will confirm him as part of an all-British line up for their team in 2022 ahead of this weekend’s race at Silverstone.

“I signed with Mercedes five or six years ago now, that is 100% true, as everybody knows they look after me,” he told the official Formula 1 website. “With regards to my drive for next year nothing has been signed or sealed and nothing will be announced in Silverstone so I can let you know that.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said earlier this month a decision on Hamilton’s team mate will be made “in the summer”.

Russell arrives at his home race after giving Williams their first appearance in Q3 for three years, though they are still looking for their first point since 2019. He said he isn’t counting on a ‘home advantage’ to improve his performance this weekend.

“I always think, when people say ‘I’m going to try a bit more’, well, why weren’t you trying a little bit more the previous week, the other 22 races? There’s nothing more I think a driver can give purely because it’s a home race, because you’re giving your absolute maximum.

“But I think that additional excitement of your home race does naturally give you a bit more enthusiasm. So maybe that’s where the extra performance comes from.

“The difficult bit, I guess, is there’s a lot of media scrutiny and a lot of activities going on during that week. And just balancing that out, really, because it is the biggest from a marketing perspective, the biggest event of the year for us. But ultimately, we can’t let that have an effect on the racing. So it’s just finding that right balance.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Russell will not be announced as a Mercedes driver for 2022 at British Grand Prix”

  1. someone or something
    13th July 2021, 11:33

    In a similar vein:
    – Schumacher will not be announced as Ferrari driver for 2022 at British Grand Prix
    – nor any other driver, for that matter
    – The homecoming of ‘it’ will not be announced by the UEFA at British Grand Prix
    – ‘The Room’ will not be announced as Film of the Century at British Grand Prix
    – The arrival of summer will not be announced by the Citadel’s white ravens at British Grand Prix

    As it stands, a lot of things will not be announced at British Grand Prix.

    1. Thoroughly disappointing British Grand Prix weekend, what with none of those things being announced. I now only have the on track stuff to look forward to

      1. Ha ha yes

        Timing suggests this is for UK tabloid press, who only give F1 the time of day at British GP time

    2. Oh well… i already bet my house on the Shumacher/Ferrari rumour for 2022.

  2. The only thing that will be announced this weekend is how much of a failure the new qualifying format will be.

    Not an official announcement, obviously…

    1. Ahah, that’s a nice one.

    2. How about combining it with the last great idea…. knock out sprint races?

      Actually…

  3. still, too many rumours on this, I guess it’s definately going to happen

  4. Normally I’m quite impressed by how Toto conducts himself, but I can’t help but feel he / Mercedes could’ve handled this better.

    Valtteri has looked like a broken man at times this season.

    1. @bernasaurus I’m not sure what it is different you would have TW do. Rumours are rumours and they are always going to swirl around. Driver announcements certainly don’t always take place by this time in the season. If VB looks like a broken man it might just be the combination of the rumours, sure, but also that he hasn’t been able to stamp his authority on the season yet again, and this season of all ones where it seems his seat is more under threat than ever. They have had more competition from RBR this year but at the start when VB could have done something about it like LH did, he didn’t, yet again, and sure he had bad luck too, and poor performances. VB has never been a threat to take the WDC since he’s been at Mercedes, in the WCC car, and this year Max has been able to do what he has, which is the last thing VB needed this season. He needed not only Mercedes to still be dominant, but he also needed to finally actually take the gloves off and take it to LH from the getgo so that he could stamp his authority on the season and perhaps keep his seat. That simply has not happened. He did better at the last race but too little too late. At this point they cannot afford to take points away from LH wherever possible. Last race LH just had too much car damage such that it was a no-brainer for VB to be put ahead. That usually will not happen for the rest of the season. VB is possibly sat there, in the moments when he struggles to keep the negative thoughts away, thinking he had his opportunity over the last 4 seasons when he had the WCC car, and he didn’t do it, and now it is too late.

  5. Perhaps in the summer break.

    1. @jerejj I would think they’ll tell Bottas the decision first and maybe let him announce that he is leaving and where he’s going.

      1. There do not seem to be many seats available for Bottas if he gets punted out. Back to Williams, he may as well leave F1 if that is it.

        1. Whys that? They are having plenty of money pored into the team, recruiting well, are getting the back end of the Merc next year, and if Russell goes looking for a proven race winner. They have every chance of moving up the order next year.

          1. Indeed, that’s what I was thinking: russel deserves to go to merc, if he doesn’t williams seems to be on the way up and might turn into a midfield car, 2017-style, which is a good platform to further expose himself for russel; bottas might find it ok too if he does like raikkonen, and only races for fun and money, since to be honest, he’d need a miracle to win a title in any case, e.g. irvine 1999.

      2. Could be, but the way things are going this season I don’t get the impression they care a lot about Bottas’ feelings at all…

  6. From what he’s said there (and what he didn’t say), it sounds like it’s been agreed that he’ll be driving for Mercedes next year but everything isn’t signed yet so it’ll be announced after Silverstone.

    Great news if true – it’ll be really exciting to see what he can do against Hamilton and it reduces the worry of a dominant Mercedes as even if they are miles ahead, there is at least the possibility of an inter-team battle.

  7. pastaman (@)
    13th July 2021, 13:46

    My god, enough already

    1. Agreed, far too many of these stories being peddled for far too long now.

      And the stories are all going to look pretty silly when Mercedes eventually announce they are keeping Valtteri for 2022.

      Reply moderated
      1. I want them to announce that they are signing Valtteri Russell for 2022, just to mess with people.

        1. George Bottas moving to Williams is unfortunate.

          Reply moderated
    2. Its press induced. Typically the British press pushes long in the hope their made up story transitions into a reality. And it works in this day and age of Marketing and sheep. You will however never see them do it around a non British person. The UK has, similarly to the US, become a playground of Marketeers & money interests. The people are very susceptible and easy to trick with PR stories. Not just companies benefit from that, also or maybe especially the media and political parties. Brexit was their epiphany of this phenomenon. Just like Trump was in the US. Sheep, so we will see George’s story all the way, every day until a decision is announced.

  8. “Russell will not be announced as a Mercedes driver for 2022 at British Grand Prix”

    Because he will drive for Red Bull next year. Mercedes left it to late, Marko said thank you very much we`ll put him next to Max next year.

    1. Ahah, that’s also interesting, seems a bit a long shot but I wouldn’t mind it if merc lost russel given their antics.

    2. Lol ok I’ll play along…it would be a coup for RBR to steal GR from them, but I think they’re pretty happy with Checo and at the same time I think they fully expect that Mercedes would not let GR out of his contract, or put another way if GR actually wanted out of his contract Mercedes would charge the likes of RBR an absolute fortune and make it formidable. Of course they couldn’t force GR to drive for them if he was strangely that disgruntled, but that doesn’t mean they’d make it painless for whomever he would sign.

      At this point I (and most) have no doubt GR is going to Mercedes next year, so the thought that he would refuse to do so and honour his contract, and leave the family, is ridiculous. I get no sense from GR’s vibe, his attitude this year, his words, his body language, that he has doubts about next year. On the other hand some are noticing and commenting on how VB seems down trodden. Be it by the car, his own mistakes, and his misfortunes, if VB had any chance at all of salvaging his seat for next year, that has not happened, and personally I don’t think there was anything VB could have done shy of beating both LH and Max and leading the WDC at this point. Something VB has never shown a hint of being able to do in his whole time at Mercedes.

  9. The British media really want the unlucky one in the German team. I don’t think anything is going to be said untill the end of 2021…

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      13th July 2021, 16:37

      @macleod It will be announced during the summer break. Who the driver will be is up for debate. I personally think it will be Russell, but you can’t leave it to the end of season or the driver (Bottas) who loses the seat is screwed!

      1. @davewillisporter So if we hear nothing it will be Bottas?

  10. It looks like GR already knows he will be a Mercedes driver in 22 but Valteri does not.
    The only chance that it’s announced in Silverstone is after the race if both Mercedes drivers finish the British GP outside the points.

  11. This headline has the same effect as one that says….
    ‘Tomorrow is going to be another day.’

  12. Good for Valtteri’s sake.

  13. Everyone knows where this is going. Mercedes needs to rip off the band aid and announce George as their 2022 driver.

    1. Yeah. I just don’t know who benefits from this game. Maybe they’re waiting for Bottas to secure that seat at Williams(?) so he doesn’t get bombarded with pitty and scornful comments, other than that, it’s just dumb to not just announce Russell.

      On the other hand, if that seat really isn’t George’s yet, Toto should be sacked and George should be smacked for remaining so loyal to them while he’s wasting away at the back of the field for years. This promotion is two seasons overdue.

      1. I completely agree. Mercedes might be winning the WCC if they had brought George on board for 2021. But if Mercedes currently had Lewis and George then Max would have an even greater lead over Lewis in the WDC. I think this is why Lewis really likes Valtteri as a teammate (2016…).

        On the other hand if Mercedes keeps waiting then when Lewis retires they could end up with Valtteri and some other driver new to the car – not a preferred situation over already having another #1 driver to take over who has experience with the car. Although Lewis wants a Rubens for a teammate, Mercedes would probably prefer a combination more like Prost / Senna right now.

  14. It’ll be announced during the race, like Michael Schumacher’s retirement by, sorry, from, Ferrari.

    It could be the first ever announcement during a sprint race. Maybe the last ever, too.

  15. Nice touch for Merc to announce Russell at his home grand prix.

  16. Stick Russell in the McLaren alongside Lando and cut a deal for the struggling Ricciardo to move elsewhere.

    Boom! 💥

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