George Russell uses Valtteri Bottas example and outlines plan to secure Mercedes future

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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George Russell has cited Valtteri Bottas as an example of how he intends to keep his Mercedes seat for as long as possible. The former Williams driver will make the step up for 2022, when F1 fans eagerly anticipate a potential partnership with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. 

Aside from an impressive 2020 cameo with the Silver Arrows in Bahrain, Russell is broadly considered an unknown quantity in a title-chasing car. 

Fans are therefore keen to see what he can bring under Toto Wolff, particularly if Hamilton shrugs off the retirement rumours and comes back to fight for his eighth world title. 

While Wolff and Russell’s professional relationship stretches back years, the 23-year-old will be fully aware that he must produce consistently to secure his future. 

And in a recent interview with Motorsport Magazine, Russell pledged to ‘come up with the goods’ for Mercedes so he is there for the long haul. 

“What I admire so much from Mercedes and Toto is how loyal they are to their own,” he said.

“Valtteri has been such a key driver to help them achieve all of these world championships.

“There’s a lot of people who say negative things about him being off the pace of Lewis Hamilton, but he’s been part of that success, and they want to reward that.

“They always give people the full opportunity and the full chance.

“I’m a 23-year-old and we’ve got that whole future ahead, that loyalty brings faith to me as a driver.

“If I work hard and come up with the goods, they are going to reward me with that loyalty, and I don’t have to have any concerns about my job or my future.

“They certainly do things quite differently to other teams down the grid, so I have got to be grateful and thankful to have a guy like Toto as your boss.”

Indeed, Russell’s final comment may or may not be a shot fired at Mercedes’ title rivals Red Bull, who have been trigger happy with their choices to partner Max Verstappen over the past few seasons. 

Pierre Gasly’s step up from what was then called Toro Rosso in 2019 ended prematurely, and Alex Albon did not last long either. 

Red Bull settled on Sergio Perez for the 2021 season, and although his seat appears to be safe for the upcoming battle, they are likely hoping for an improvement on his fourth-placed finish behind Mercedes counterpart Bottas. 

The Finn is set for a brand new challenge in 2022, heading to Alfa Romeo which paved the way for Russell to join the Silver Arrows, where he will attempt to lock down his future for years to come. 

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