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'Red Bull doesn't believe Russell is better so puts pressure on Mercedes'

'Red Bull doesn't believe Russell is better so puts pressure on Mercedes'

25-06-2021 09:07 Last update: 10:31


Mercedes have yet to give clarity to Valtteri Bottas or George Russell. Both want the seat next to Lewis Hamilton next year, but there is only room for one. Who do Mercedes want, and why is Red Bull Racing pushing for George Russell?

In Formula1.com's Weekend Warm-Up, Will Buxton and Lawrence Barretto talk at length about the contract situation at Mercedes. The contracts of Hamilton, Russell and Bottas expire at the end of 2021, and so Mercedes has all three to choose from. However, with all the information at their disposal, you might ask why is it taking so long to make a decision?

Red Bull want Russell

"If Toto Wolff doesn't know by now, I find that odd that he needs more time. Valtteri has been there for years, he knows every detail of the guy," Buxton said. It might also be that he's not sure on George. Maybe he needs time on both of them and weighing up the pros and cons," Barretto added. Buxton, however, cannot understand why Mercedes is limiting itself to those two options.

"I find that incredible. Because you have Red Bull, Helmut Marko saying in the week saying they need to put George in the car. Why would Marko want George in the car they think George is better? I don't think Red Bull think George is better and that's why they're trying to apply pressure on Mercedes to put him in," Buxton said. 

Russell the same as Rosberg?

Barretto cites that there is that appreciation from Mercedes and that they saw his way of working in Bahrain last year. However, Buxton states that Russell hasn't scored a point since, and although Barretto raises the argument that Russell is also just 'driving a Williams', Buxton wonders aloud if Russell is the right choice.

Meanwhile, Hamilton himself is hinting at a longer stay for Bottas, and that too will come into play. "Do we think George might prove to be too much of a distruptive influence like a Nico Rosberg. Someone that is certain of their own abilities," Buxton added. "Mercedes have to decide if they want a situation like that. At the moment everything works nicely, do they want to rip that all up? I guess it also depends on if they believe Lewis can still win the World title for them," Barretto concluded. 

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