Mercedes has decided who will partner Lewis Hamilton next year, team boss Tutu Wolf said on Saturday. Got a brilliant second position for Williams in the wet qualifying.
The 23-year-old Briton, whose career is backed by Formula One champion Mercedes, and current Voltaire Bottas have been two drivers for the seat.
An announcement was expected in the construction of the Belgian Grand Prix, the first race after the Formula One summer vacation.
But Russell and Bottas, appearing together at Thursday’s press conference, said they had no news to share and were tight-lipped about whether a decision had been made. ۔
“Yes,” said Wolf, who was confronted with new questions after Russell’s brave qualifying display, when asked if his team had made a decision.
Without elaborating on who was picked up, Austrian said the decision was complicated to find a suitable replacement for the driver.
“Both deserve the best care because they are both part of the family and we hold them in high esteem,” Austrian said.
“So like any driver lineup there are advantages and disadvantages and in the end there is no such thing as a perfect discussion.
“All we need to do is handle the situation well with any driver who will not be driving a Mercedes next year and make sure there is an interesting program and manage the situation internally.”
Botas joined Mercedes in 2017, replacing retired champion Nico Rosberg. He has won nine races so far but has generally failed to match seven-time champion Hamilton.
He was eighth in qualifying at the spa on Saturday but will start 13th after a fifth-place grid penalty.
Russell, meanwhile, has been impressive in his third season at Williams, especially in qualifying.
Saturday’s display in Belgium, where he beat Hamilton by 0.013 seconds, was the latest in a series of strong performances in Bahrain in December last year, when he finished second for Hamilton and almost won.
“I think we know what our relationship is with George,” Wolf said.
“He’s been great in the junior categories, he’s been great in Williams, he’s been great in Bahrain.
“The decision is considering other factors as well. Let’s see.”