Hamilton: Russell form doesn't change Bottas preference for 2022

Lewis Hamilton says George Russell's starring performance in qualifying at Spa "doesn't really change anything" regarding who the world champion prefers to be his Mercedes Formula 1 teammate for 2022.

Mercedes is yet to reveal whether Russell will be promoted from Williams to drive alongside Hamilton next season, or if it will choose to keep Valtteri Bottas on for what would be a sixth straight year with an unchanged driver line-up since Nico Rosberg's shock departure at the end of 2016.

Russell and Bottas remained tight-lipped on progress regarding Mercedes' decision when F1 reconvened for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix after the summer break, where Hamilton highlighted his working relationship with Bottas being "better than ever", but did say he would support whichever call his team makes.

Hamilton has regularly hinted that he would prefer Mercedes to keep an unchanged line-up for 2022 – the first year of the two-season contract he signed back in July – saying in June that he did not "necessarily see that it needs to change".

Read Also:

When asked if he still felt the same way about Russell potentially replacing Bottas after the Williams driver had secured a shock second place in qualifying at Spa, Hamilton replied: "I don't feel any different.

"I mean, George has been doing a great job all year. This just doesn't really change anything.

"I'm sure he's got pressure on him just as Valtteri does to do the job. And it's great to see him delivering. I can't fault him for it."

George Russell, Williams, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

George Russell, Williams, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Speaking alongside Hamilton and Spa pole winner Max Verstappen in the post-qualifying press conference, Russell discussed the importance of delivering his best results at a crucial stage of his F1 career, although he insisted that "regardless" of the current situation he is "out every weekend to do 120%".

"I think Formula 1 is a pretty ruthless sport," said Russell, who finished just 0.321s adrift of Verstappen's pole-winning time.

"There's only opportunity for 20 drivers in the world and there's probably plenty more drivers who are deserving to be in Formula 1.

"So, regardless of my personal experience in these contract talks, at the moment you've to keep showing what you can do and never lift your foot off the throttle because if you do there will be a youngster coming through trying to take your seat.

"You can never be complacent."

Read Also:

shares
comments
Wolff: Mercedes has decided between Russell and Bottas for 2022

Previous article

Wolff: Mercedes has decided between Russell and Bottas for 2022

Next article

Alonso: Eau Rouge barrier changes will not stop big crashes

Alonso: Eau Rouge barrier changes will not stop big crashes
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021