Toto Wolff: "It's too early to promote George Russell to Mercedes!"

16-08-2019 11:19
by Bobby Vincent
General
Toto Wolff: It's too early to promote George Russell to Mercedes!

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has claimed it would be "too early" to bring George Russell into the Brackley-based squad next season to replace Valtteri Bottas.

Russell is currently halfway through his rookie Formula 1 season with Williams and has impressed despite being in one of the two slowest cars on the grid. The British youngster won the Formula 2 championship in 2018 and has continued his speed into F1, consistently out-qualifying and for the most part, out-pacing team-mate Robert Kubica.

Mercedes will make its decision soon whether to get rid of the under-pressure Bottas, or keep him alongside Lewis Hamilton. Esteban Ocon is favourite to replace Bottas if he was to leave, but Russell's name has also been thrown in there.

However, Mercedes team principal Wolff has said it would be "too early" to bring Russell into a "high-pressure environment".

"I don't think that you are given the possibility to learn in a Mercedes because you are put in a car that is able to win races and championships, in a high-pressure environment," Wolff said.

"I think that it can go terribly wrong. For a young driver who has the talent to become a world champion, if he's thrown in that environment next to the best driver of his generation, who has been with us for seven years. I wouldn't want to burn George. I think it would come too early."

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