Although he is next in line for a Mercedes promotion, George Russell is by no means guaranteed a seat with Toto Wolff saying it “depends how next season goes”.
Russell, a Mercedes protégé, entered Formula 1 last year with Williams, signing a three-year deal.
Almost two years into the contract and the Brit still doesn’t have a single point to his name, although that’s more down to Williams’ form than his own.
Russell has been one of the stars of 2020, at least when it comes to qualifying, earning a nickname of ‘Mr Saturday’.
He, however, needs to turn that into ‘Mr Sunday’ if he wants a Mercedes promotion as right now Valtteri Bottas is doing his part in helping Mercedes win championships.
Asked by Sky F1 is there would be a place for Russell in 2022 or if the team would have to let him go, Wolff replied: “Well it all depends how next season goes.
“Also in our team our loyalty is highest for the guys in the car because we owe it to them to give them every opportunity.
“But then obviously George is pretty highly rated for the future.”
The Brit, though, did blot his copybook at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when he crashed behind the Safety Car while warming up his tyres.
Russell held up his hand, admitting it was completely on him, and even wrote Williams a letter of apology.
Saying he had “absolutely no excuses”, the 22-year-old added that it was “probably the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my career.
“It was such an amateur mistake that I almost just could not believe it just happened. It was just pure frustration and annoyance at the error I just made.”
Although hard on himself for his mistake, Wolff reckons that’s a trait that many of the best have.
“He has one of those personality traits that he’s brutal in assessing himself,” said the Austrian.
“I think this is what the great ones have shown, that they are able to go with that.”