Verstappen & Leclerc Say Russell ‘Deserves More’

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen have praised George Russell, saying he deserves to land the second Mercedes seat next year.

The Silver Arrows have already confirmed Sir Lewis Hamilton for 2022, with them inking a two-year contract extension earlier this season.

However, Bottas’ future at Mercedes is very much up in the air, and the team is actively considering dropping him for Russell.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Leclerc said the young Brit “definitely deserves” a Mercedes seat.

“It’s great if George gets that seat because he deserves it,” Leclerc said, as quoted by MotorsportWeek.

“It is always very difficult to judge in Formula 1, because the cars are so different and obviously with George being at Williams it is always difficult to judge how much of a good job he’s doing.

“He’s consistently there and showing good things and also in the past I’ve raced with him and I know how strong George is.

“So, he definitely deserves that spot and I think it would be great to have such a talented driver in that seat.”

Verstappen, meanwhile, said Russell “deserves more” and believes drivers of his calibre won’t stay with an uncompetitive team indefinitely.

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“For sure George is very quick and he can’t stay where he is forever, I think he deserves more,” Verstappen said.

“At the end of the day it is up to Mercedes to make the call, right, so it’s not really from my side.

“But for sure I rate him as a driver, and he is still very young, so it’s natural that at some point they move up, especially the good drivers,” he concluded.