George Russell has put to bed speculation that he will join Mercedes for the 2021 F1 season, stressing that he has a contract with Williams for next year.
Last weekend at Sakhir, when he was filling in for Lewis Hamilton after the seven-time World Champion tested positive for COVID-19, Russell said that he hopes he can make a case to drive for Mercedes even before 2022.
“From Toto [Wolff’s] perspective, hopefully I have given him a headache, not just for 2022, maybe sooner,” he said.
Speaking at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Russell said he made the comment in the “heat of the moment” and played down his chances of joining Mercedes in 2021.
“Yeah, that was just a throwaway remark in the heat of the moment. Obviously emotions were high and what have you.
“But yeah, ultimately I have a contract and I’m a Williams driver for 2021,” he reiterated.
Russell also revealed that his mum was left in tears after, to no fault of his own, he missed out on winning the Sakhir Grand Prix and crossed the finish line down in P9.
“My mum was in tears afterwards, bless her, and my sister as well. You know, we live this together, this sport. And it’s so passionate, emotions are so high.
“And obviously, this was my first opportunity to not just a win, but to actually score points. That was such a big difference. And having that taken away from us, not once but twice, was difficult,” he added.
“But having time to reflect on the weekend. I’ve left with my head held high and proud of the job we managed to achieve last weekend.”
Another race with Mercedes was on the cards for George Russell this weekend, but Lewis Hamilton tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday, paving the way for his return to Williams for the season finale at Abu Dhabi.