George Russell was on course for victory in his first race with the Mercedes F1 Team, but a pitstop blunder and a late slow puncture ultimately denied him glory.
However, many in the F1 paddock were nevertheless very impressed with Russell’s performance, as he almost matched Valtteri Bottas in qualifying and led most of the Sakhir Grand Prix.
But, Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull’s driver development programme, has revealed that he wasn’t overly impressed with George Russell’s outing in the Mercedes last weekend.
“He certainly did a great job last Sunday, but quite a few drivers in the Mercedes would have done that too,” Marko said in a recent interview.
Earlier this week, Germany’s RTL broadcaster reported that Red Bull will try to poach Russell if Mercedes don’t sign him for 2021.
However, Marko has since ruled out the young Brit joining the Milton Keynes-based team due to his ties to Mercedes.
Explaining why Red Bull are unlikely to sign Russell anytime soon, Marko said: “Firstly, he is a Mercedes driver, and secondly he is managed by Toto Wolff.
“In any case, he has told us on the side that he has a ten-year contract with Wolff.
“That is out of the question for us. We have young drivers who also have great talent who we want to develop for ourselves, like Yuki Tsunoda,” he added.
It remains to be seen if Russell will be given another outing in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes W11 at the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.