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George Russell

Verstappen and Leclerc think Russell deserves Mercedes seat

Speculation continues over who will be Lewis Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes in 2022, but Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc believe that George Russell has proved that he is ready for the opportunity.

Russell Silverstone 2021
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To news overview © Williams

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc think that George Russell deserves to be given an opportunity at Mercedes.

An announcement has not yet been made on who will be Lewis Hamilton's teammate in 2022, with the seat set to be taken either by Russell or current Silver Arrows driver Valtteri Bottas.

However, both Verstappen and Leclerc believe that Russell has proven during his time at Williams that he is ready to make the step up.

"George is very quick, and he can't stay where he is forever," Verstappen told select media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think he deserves more, but at the end of the day, it's up to Mercedes to make the call, right? So not really from my side, but for sure I rate him very highly as a driver.

"He's of course still very young as well, so it's natural that the younger guys at one point move up, and especially the good drivers."

Meanwhile, Leclerc admits that it can be difficult to judge how good a driver is when they are in a lesser-performing car, but believes that Russell has shown a good level of consistency.

"I think it's great if George gets that seat, because he deserves it," the Ferrari driver said.

"It is always very difficult to judge in Formula 1 because the cars are so different. Obviously, with George being at Williams, it is always difficult to judge how much of a good job he is doing.

"But he's consistently there and showing good things, and also in the past I've raced with him and I know how strong George is, so he definitely deserves that spot and I think it would be great to have such a talented driver in that seat."

Hamilton has admitted that, whilst he has been open in expressing his loyalty to Bottas, he is supportive of whatever decision the team make in regards to who his teammate will be.

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