Wolff: Bottas won’t lose 2021 Mercedes F1 seat to Russell | F1 news

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Toto Wolff has put an end to speculation about George Russell’s acceleration in the Mercedes Formula 1 squad in 2021 by officially confirming that Valtteri Bottas will retain his seat.

Russell’s superb performance at the Sakhir Grand Prix last weekend in place of Lewis Hamilton, absent due to COVID-19, has hinted that Mercedes could move driver Williams in place of Bottas for 2021.

However, Wolff stressed that he remains loyal to Bottas, who has a 2021 contract with Mercedes, and has made it clear that Russell’s moment will come.

“He’s going to be in our car, I confirm that. We have a contract with Valtteri, ”Wolff said.

“He’s going to run next year. You have to kick me hard enough in a sensitive area that I never lose my loyalty. And I am loyal to my two racing drivers.

” In the same way. I am loyal to our junior drivers. George did a phenomenal job last weekend. He deserves to be in a super car someday. He has a contract with Williams for another year.

“They’ve been very flexible and accommodating in having George, giving George to Mercedes this other weekend, and everything is going to go as planned. But calmly and in a structured way. ”

Wolff admits Bottas had been put in a difficult position over the Sakhir weekend, with Russell “having nothing to lose” and having had a huge impact on his one-time appearance.

“I can understand Valtteri’s situation, because you have this extremely fast teammate who has won seven world championships, and Valtteri has shown very good performances,” he added.

“He won the first race in Austria, and he’s been on pole several times, and he should have won more races without the red flags or the punctures.

“And then losing it again when bad luck was really part of your campaign seems miserable to me, and in that regard I think a pilot can sometimes slip into a bubble where you feel like things are going against you.

“Last weekend was all around George. George had nothing to lose, and Valtteri had nothing to gain.

“In this regard, we had a good conversation, a smart conversation between us.

“It wasn’t like a eureka moment that suddenly I spoke to him, I can just understand his situation, and we decided we want to talk to each other more. ”

Their renewed relationship was reflected in qualifying when Wolff made the unusual decision to speak directly to Bottas on the radio ahead of his final run in the third quarter on Saturday, which Wolff said was the result of an agreement between the two men to provide more support.

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