Mercedes could announce George Russell as Valtteri Bottas’ replacement for 2022 at the upcoming British Grand Prix, former F1 driver Martin Brundle has said.
Bottas has had a shaky campaign thus far, with a combination of torrid luck and a lack of pace at some grand prix leaving him only fifth in the Drivers’ Standings, 58 points adrift of his Silver Arrows team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton.
It has long been speculated that Russell – who in contrast has been in excellent form this season – will replace the Finnish racer at Mercedes in 2022.
And, Brundle believes the British Grand Prix would be the “perfect” place for Mercedes to make the announcement.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if George got the drive next year alongside Lewis at Mercedes,” Brundle said.
“Whether it’ll be announced at Silverstone, if they’re going to do it, why not? It would be the perfect place.”
Continuing, Brundle said he believes Mercedes need to bring in a young talent who can lead them to Championships once Hamilton decides to retire from Formula 1, as opposed to retaining Bottas.
“If you were running Mercedes you’d ask: ‘is Valtteri Bottas is our man to win the World Championship when Lewis inevitably retires two, three, four years into the future?’,” he said.
“You’d have to think no.
“I hate to say that, I really admire Valtteri as he is a great driver and does an amazing job against the might of Lewis Hamilton but you can’t honestly say if Lewis wasn’t there Valtteri would be dominating instead, can you?
“So I think Mercedes have to get a young gun in there that would emerge as their automatic new team leader sooner than later,” he concluded.