Williams driver George Russell is one of the main protagonists in the driver market this year, and has said he wants to finalize his future as soon as possible – if only for a relaxing summer break.
The 23-year-old has managed to make Q2 in six out of six qualifying sessions so far this year, and has even received praise from none other than two-time champion Fernando Alonso.
Russel is regarded as one of the contenders for a Mercedes seat should one become available. And even though he is yet to begin discussions with Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff, who guides his career, he would prefer that his future is decided before the summer break.
“I haven’t really spoken about it [with Toto], that’s always just been my mindset [to conclude the talks quickly]. It’s in everyone’s best interest. I’m just focused on the here and now really, but I’m sure everything will be sorted no later than the end of the summer break really.
“I think we’d all want a nice summer break off when the season’s this intense, not messing around with contracts! I know I certainly would anyway. And it gives everybody a bit of clarity… I guess we’ll see in the coming weeks really,” said Russell.
Both Mercedes seats are potentially up for grabs at the end of 2021, as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have only signed year-long extensions with the team, set to conclude at the end of this season.
Wolff said earlier this year he, too, was eager to resolve driver negotiations as soon as possible, having only finalised Hamilton’s contract for this year in January.
“We don’t want to leave it until January to confirm the two drivers… also, to give the driver peace of mind, or be able to concentrate on the job,” said Wolff. “Obviously for next year, there’s lots of balls in the air and we will always try to do the best for the team long-term, while also giving total loyalty to our current driver line-up.
“We are not doubting either Valtteri or Lewis, but discussions obviously are going to happen – but not in January next year.”