Russell handed Merc tests amid Hamilton rumours

Michelle Foster
George Russell handed Merc tests amidst Lewis Hamilton/Ferrari rumours

George Russell handed Merc tests amidst Lewis Hamilton/Ferrari rumours

George Russell will test the W10 in Abu Dhabi next week but Toto Wolff says it is “not benchmarking” him for a future Mercedes race seat as he already knows the Brit’s ability.

Russell will put the W10 through its paces during next week’s Pirelli tyre test, in action for Mercedes on Day Two.

He will be back in action later in the month at the Yas Marina circuit, testing Pirelli’s 2021 18-inch in Mercedes’ test car.

Russell’s outings come in the wake of reports that Lewis Hamilton has been speaking with Ferrari, twice meeting with the Scuderia’s president during the course of this season.

Wolff, though, says Russell, who hasn’t been well this week, shouldn’t worry too much about his performances because this is not an audition as Mercedes already know what he is capable of.

Wolff explained to Autosport: “I’ve said to George, who was not 100 percent these last days, this test is not benchmarking him because we are absolutely certain that he has the qualities of a potential future Mercedes driver.

“He has the raw speed, he has the talent, he has the intelligence.

“There is a reason why he’s won F3 and F2 as a rookie. That hasn’t been done many times before. And he has a flawless record in F1.

“It is more about the experience. So there’s nothing to prove during the during these upcoming tests.

“George is under contract with Williams and we will always honour all contracts because they have given him the chance to step into F1.

“Probably if he does the test it will just confirm what we anyway know.”

Follow all the action from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the PlanetF1 live centre