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George Russell

Russell encouraged by Mercedes' loyalty to Bottas

George Russell is hopeful that he will receive the same loyalty as Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes if he performs well in the team.

Bottas Wolff
To news overview © Mercedes

George Russell is encouraged by the loyalty displayed by Mercedes and Toto Wolff to their previous driver Valtteri Bottas, and hopes that he can be rewarded with the same.

At certain stages in the 2021 season, speculation arose that the Silver Arrows could replace Bottas with Russell before the end of the year.

This did not happen, but Russell was announced as a Mercedes driver for 2022 in September, whilst Bottas will move to Alfa Romeo.

Bottas had been with the team for five years, and Russell has a lot of respect for the loyal approach taken by Wolff towards the Finn and other members of staff.

"What I admire so much from Mercedes and Toto is how loyal they are to their own," Russell told the Motor Sport Magazine Podcast.

"Valtteri has been such a key figure, and key driver for them to help them achieve all of these World Championships along the way. There's a lot of people [who] can say some negative things, or [say things about him] being off the pace of Lewis Hamilton.

"But he's been an incredibly important part to all of that success, and they want to reward that loyalty. And maybe if he went through one or two bad races throughout last year, they're not just going to get the axe out and say, 'Thank you very much, and see you later'.

"Because that's not how they do things. They give people the full opportunity, and the full chance.

"I'm a 23-year-old. From their side, there's no need to rush. We've got the whole future ahead."

"If I work hard, Mercedes will reward me with that loyalty"

Having seen the loyalty displayed by Mercedes and Wolff to Bottas, Russell is hopeful that he can be given the same treatment if he performs well with the team.

"I guess that loyalty brings faith to me as a driver, equally to the 2000 employees that Mercedes have between Brackley and Brixworth," the Briton explained.

"If I work hard and I perform the goods, they are going to reward me with that loyalty, and I don't have to have any concerns about my job or my future. You probably go ahead and perform even better.

"So I guess that's what I really admire from those guys, and they certainly do things quite different to other teams down the grid. So I've got to be very grateful and thankful to have Toto as [my] boss, I'm sure.

"That loyalty that he's shown Valtteri, if I perform, he'll show to me and everybody else in the team when they do a good job."

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