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 six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021