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George Russell

Poll: Will George Russell still be at Mercedes in 2026?

In the midst of F1 silly season, two names are gaining the most attention and generating the majority of the speculation: Max Verstappen and Andrea Kimi Antonelli. With both drivers linked to Mercedes, where does that leave George Russell?

Russell Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell is tied in with Mercedes until the end of 2025. However, his future with the team past that point is starting to look evermore precarious.

He is certain to have a new team-mate next year, with Lewis Hamilton moving to Ferrari at the end of the season, but who will partner him is still very much unknown.

Max Verstappen might be contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028, and also in the most dominant car under the current regulations cycle, but there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding his situation. Adrian Newey is leaving the team and there is growing chatter he will look to move elsewhere.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has made no attempt to hide the fact that he would love to bring the Dutchman to Brackley. 2025 looks unlikely, given how strong Red Bull currently is, but 2026 is still very much on the table as F1 ushers in a new dawn of chassis and power unit rules.

At the same time, Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli is expected to be Verstappen 2.0. Wolff rues missing out on the three-time drivers' champion a decade ago, so will not want to let Antonelli slip through his fingers this time around.

Like Verstappen, 2025 might come too soon for the F2 driver at Mercedes, with a season at Williams seemingly the more likely option. Further still, it has been mooted the Italian will make his F1 debut for the Grove-based team later in 2024 - once he has turned 18-years-of-age - replacing Logan Sargeant. 

However, he may well be judged to be ready for 2026. If Verstappen is also an option for Mercedes at that point, where does that leave Russell?

To compound the uncertainty of Russell's situation even more, Carlos Sainz has been linked with the 2025 Mercedes drive. That in itself is not an issue, but there have been suggestions that, at the least, there may be an optional year tacked on as well, which could see the outgoing Ferrari driver retained alongside either Verstappen or Antonelli at the expense of Russell.

Let us know what you think below by voting in the latest RacingNews365 poll or by leaving a comment.

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365's Ian Parkes and Nick Golding as they are joined by ex-Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer to discuss the 'silliest of silly seasons' as well as McLaren and Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

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