‘Formula 1 Is A Very Brutal Sport’: Russell Not Letting Mercedes Contract ‘Noise’ Distract Him

Williams driver George Russell has said he isn’t letting speculation about his future in Formula 1 distract him.

The young Brit has been strongly linked with a move to Mercedes for 2022, with Valtteri Bottas potentially set to switch seats with Russell and return to Williams.

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However, Russell has insisted that the ongoing contract “noise” isn’t distracting him, saying he prefers to do his talking on the race track.

“The noise around contracts doesn’t affect me,” Russell wrote in a column

“The talking is done on track. Formula 1 is a very brutal sport. There are only two spots per team, most of which are filled with absolutely exceptional drivers.

“You need to get out there every single race, every single day, every single lap and prove to everyone why you deserve to be here and why you deserve to be fighting for the Championship.

“So no matter what’s been said in the press, it’s almost in one ear, out the other. My focus is hitting the track and going as fast as possible,” he added.

Russell scored his first points with Williams last time out in Hungary, and he picked up his first F1 points in late 2020 when he filled in for Sir Lewis Hamilton in Sakhir after he tested positive for COVID-19.

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Commenting on the step up to Mercedes, Russell said he had some doubts as to how he would cope with the additional pressure that comes with driving for a top team.

“I’ve always believed in myself, but until you’re handed the opportunity there’s always that small element of the unknown,” the Williams driver wrote.

“How will I deal with the pressures when the time comes? But I felt comfortable really. When I was sitting on the grid, I felt like this is where I want to be every single week and I fought so hard to get to Formula 1 and fought so hard through my whole career and this is what it’s all about.

“I’m learning my trade at the moment, but I don’t want to be in this position my whole life at the back end of the grid. I’m here to win. It’s been two-and-a-half tough years and I feel like I’ve built a toolbox of skills that I wouldn’t have if I’d been winning races from day one.”