Russell says he’s ‘ready’ for Mercedes drive

Date published: July 10 2019

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With speculation continuing about Mercedes’ 2020 driver line up, George Russell says he’s ready to step up to the big leagues should Toto Wolff give him the nod.

Mercedes have one driver, Lewis Hamilton, under contract for next season with they have an option on the other, Valtteri Bottas.

But, given Bottas’ renewed struggles to challenge Hamilton, his future at the team is once again under the spotlight.

Mercedes boss Wolff has made it clear that Bottas knows what he has to do to secure his future.

He told Motorsport-Total.com: “Every Formula 1 driver knows that if he does not deliver the performance then there is always someone else.

“Valtteri knows he has to perform, he’s in a team where he can win a championship and he claims he wants too.”

However, if he fails to do that, Russell says he’s ready to be promoted to Mercedes.

“If Toto called me tomorrow and asked if I was ready to drive for Mercedes my answer would be absolutely,” the Brit told PA.

“I am not going to rely on Valtteri having bad races. I am going to go out there and make it happen for myself.

“If that is not good enough then I will hold my hands up and say I didn’t do the job.

“I am on top of my game. Right now, I am 100 per cent dedicated to Williams, but if Mercedes called me up, I will be ready.”

The Mercedes young driver, who currently races for Williams, is believed to have surpassed Esteban Ocon as the next in line to be promoted.

“I don’t like to think about chance,” Russell added.

“Mercedes have given me targets. Each time, I have met them, and they have rewarded me.

“I have faith that if I have performed to the right level, there is no reason why I will not get the opportunity.

“You only have to look at what Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have done at Red Bull and Ferrari.

“You can argue about experience all you want, but sometimes it is not all you need.”

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