Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell says his performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix will not “sway” Mercedes’ decision over its 2020 driver line-up.
Mercedes is currently deciding whether to continue with Valtteri Bottas into next season or promote its highly-rated reserve driver Esteban Ocon into a race seat alongside reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.
It was thought that Russell could have also been in contention for an upgrade into the works squad after just one season at customer team Williams, but in Hungary Mercedes boss Toto Wolff cooled suggestions of promoting Russell too soon, adding he did not want to risk “burning” the 2018 Formula 2 champion.
Russell qualified a season’s best 16th at the Hungaroring and narrowly missed out on a place in Q2, before going on to finish in the same position in Sunday’s race“I’ve already reminded him [Toto Wolff],” Russell replied when asked if his performance would be a timely reminder of his talents for Mercedes.
“I always speak to the guys at Mercedes and Toto regardless of the performance.“Like Valtteri said, if he had a good or bad weekend here in Hungary that’s not going to decide his future.
“The fact that we had a really good performance here… It might help, it’s not going to hurt at all, but it’s not going to sway Mercedes’ decision.”
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) August 7, 2019
Russell praised Williams’ performance in Budapest as the team’s “best weekend of the year” so far.
“It was definitely the best weekend of the year,” he said.
“Qualifying exceeded all expectations and exceeded the reality.“We absolutely maximised our single lap whereas the other teams made some errors. You saw the mess with Perez and Ricciardo.
“I think today [the race] was more of the reality. We made a step but we’re still quite far from the rest.
“But if we continue at this rate, and we should be able to continue at this rate, we should be in the mix more often“We’ve done two weekends with the updates. Last weekend was an absolute disaster, this weekend was very positive.
“We need to see if this weekend was a one-off or not.”