PlanetF1.com understands George Russell has now committed his long-term Formula 1 future to the Mercedes team.
The contract chatter at Mercedes in recent times has been exclusively focused on Lewis Hamilton, with the seven-time World Champion yet to put pen to paper on terms that would extend his stay beyond the F1 2023 campaign.
That allowed for rumours of a Ferrari switch to bubble up, though both Hamilton and the Ferrari team have poured cold water on any potential of that union happening.
Additional reporting by Sam Cooper
Nonetheless, the wait for news has rolled on, though Hamilton hinted at some clarification emerging on the Monday immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix as he prepared to meet with his team boss Toto Wolff.
“I haven’t signed anything yet,” Hamilton confirmed to reporters at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. “I think I’m meeting Toto tomorrow so hopefully we can get something done.”
But while the wait for news on Hamilton rolls on, the future of his team-mate Russell within the Mercedes ranks is secure, as PlanetF1.com understands that the Brit will be a Mercedes driver for the long-term.
A graduate of the Mercedes Junior Team, Russell first arrived on the Formula 1 scene back in 2019, as the 2018 Formula 2 champion was sent to Mercedes customer outfit Williams.
There Russell played a key role in pulling an iconic team forward which had dropped to the very bottom of the F1 pecking order, scoring his best result with the team when his sensational P2 on the 2021 Belgian GP grid became a P2 finish with the race waved off due to torrential rain.
Russell replaced Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate from 2022, going on to score more points than the seven-time champ across that season with 275 points to Hamilton’s 240.
Russell that season also scored Mercedes’ only pole of the campaign in Hungary, and their only victory at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, and so far in F1 2023 has picked up one further podium finish with a P3 in Spain.