Russell learned before Belgian GP which team he’ll drive for in 2022

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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George Russell has confirmed that he knows which team he will drive for in the 2022 F1 season, amid speculation he will move to Mercedes.

During today’s press conference at Zandvoort Lewis Hamilton indicated Russell is a serious candidate to replace Valtteri Bottas at the team.

As RaceFans reported, Bottas is set to take Kimi Raikkonen’s seat Alfa Romeo, following the 2007 champion’s retirement at the end of the season.

Neither Russell nor Bottas have confirmed their future plans in public. “As it currently stands, I have no news to to announce, really so same position as we were in Spa last week,” said Russell today.

However he has been told where he will be in 2022. “Yes, I know where I’ll be driving next year,” he confirmed.

The confirmation came “verbally, before Spa,” Russell added. “I’m not going to sit here and lie and not say the truth.

“The truth is there’s nothing to announce. But as I said, I’m aware of the situation of where I’ll be racing next year and I was informed prior just prior to Spa.”

Meanwhile Bottas, who has had a series of one-year deals to drive for Mercedes, said he would like a long-term contract if he is unable to remain at the team.

“A multi-year contract would be nice. That’s something I’ve never had before in Formula 1, that way I could definitely give a good, full commitment to the team, not just that year, but knowing that the work continues.

“It needs to be challenging, it needs to be exciting and needs to be fun, in an atmosphere that I really enjoy working with. I think those are really the main things I’m looking for.

“But like I said earlier, I still have a good few years in Formula 1 and yeah. So I really want to continue in Formula 1 for sure.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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14 comments on “Russell learned before Belgian GP which team he’ll drive for in 2022”

  1. someone or something
    2nd September 2021, 16:37

    How far are they going to push that farce? “If” here, “would” there. Is Russell going to be interviewed after the race in Melbourne, hypothetically wearing a Mercedes overall and saying things like “I know where I’m driving this year, but there’s nothing to announce” and “If I drive for Mercedes this year, this will have been a close race between Lewis and myself”?
    This is just painful to read.

    1. You mean they should have announced it before Kimi had a chance to announce his retirement at Spa? Or maybe steal Kimi’s thunder by announcing it at Spa at the same time?
      Maybe they should rain on Alfa Romeos day in the sun and announce it before Monza?

      1. I don’t think this is a farce at all. If media wasn’t asking all the time, the drivers wouldn’t have to tiptoe around this. I suspect that the only ‘holdup’ is that not all the i’s have been dotted nor t’s crossed when it comes to the fine details such as sponsorships and marketing and the drivers responsibilities going along with that etc etc. to me likely more for VB, as GR is already part of the Mercedes family.

        The onus is not on the drivers to make this announcement, it is on the teams, so of course the drivers are having to dance around this. It is not for them to announce. The media knows this but of course it is their job to ask anyway.

      2. someone or something
        2nd September 2021, 18:23

        What’s Räikkönen got to do with any of this and why should it matter to them?

        1. Because thats where Bottas is believed to be going. Or did you want Kimi to learn he is out from Mercedes?

          1. someone or something
            2nd September 2021, 19:05

            I honestly don’t care how he learns it. He claims to have decided so himself, a year ago. So what’s the matter.
            Mercedes aren’t responsible for Räikkönen’s feelings, if they were ever at stake.
            I also don’t get the obsession with Bottas’ new team. Just announce Russell at Mercedes, that’s the news 95% of the fans cares about. Sauber aren’t ready to announce changes to their line-up yet? Oh well, no announcement for Bottas, then, for the time being. If he already knows where he’ll end up, what’s the problem?
            I really don’t know what they’re waiting for.

          2. Well its clear Mercedes and all the others involved in this move have not taken your feelings or obsessions into account. Hopefully they will apologies to you when they do announce it.

          3. someone or something
            2nd September 2021, 22:14

            And why exactly did you have to make it personal? Is it because my world doesn’t entirely revolve around some driver who has nothing to do with any of this?
            And you call me obsessed. The irony is so massive, it might as well have moons orbiting it.

  2. Nothing to see here – move along

  3. But Bottas had longer than a one-deal at Williams or also only single-year ones for every season separately?
    I don’t recall an announcement every year, though, but oh well, irrelevant.

  4. Isn’t Bottas really saying that the one year contracts hurt his commitment to Mercedes, and there wasn’t a nice atmosphere there?

    Not that I’m surprised. To be treated as the team’s butler can’t be nice.

    With all his experience and speed, the right team would get a very good deal.

    1. One year contracts throughout his tenure and having to give wins to Hamilton because the championship could possibly be close later in the season… it has been hard to watch.

      But he still had the opportunity to fight for wins and podiums which has not been a likely proposition for most of his contemporaries. Better to be a butler who gets to win some races and stand on the podium than fighting for 10th every weekend.

  5. Oooh stop being such a tease! *Blushes*

  6. Reminder: Imola is still a racing incident by 100% to this day.

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