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George Russell

Russell reacts to prospect of going head-to-head with future F1 star

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is responsible for deciding who will partner George Russell in 2025, with the Briton not focusing on who his next team-mate could be.

Russell China
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has revealed he is not involved in discussions over his 2025 Formula 1 team-mate as Mercedes weighs up the prospect of promoting junior driver Kimi Antonelli.

Several drivers have been linked with the vacancy, including Antonelli who Mercedes team principal declared is in the “strongest position” to take the seat.

The Mercedes junior driver has been described by many as a star of the future and is currently competing in his debut Formula 2 campaign for Prema Racing.

Antonelli received his F1 test debut earlier this week and he prepares for a future in the sport, which could come as early as 2025 alongside Russel

Russell has previously stated that he is open to all options regarding his 2025 team-mate, although whilst discussing Antonelli, he shared that he will not get a say in the decision.

"You're asking the wrong person there, but obviously Kimi was out driving for Mercedes this week, a test for himself with him that was always part of the plan," Russell told media including RacingNews365.

"With Kimi, such a great driver and had so much success in the past but obviously, the decision is down to Toto and I just focus on on my driving."

'Look at yourself first'

Should Antonelli be Hamilton's successor, Mercedes will be hoping that the youngster is not entering a challenging situation similar to the one they are currently in.

Despite introducing a completely new concept, Mercedes is still struggling to get to grips with the current regulations. So far this season, the Silver Arrows sit fourth in the constructors' championship, leaving Russell and Hamilton frustrated.

The two Mercedes drivers are having to dig deep to get the team out of its current rut, although Russell recognises that it is important to also self-reflect first on what he can do differently to improve the performances.

"I think it's always very important to look at yourself first before anybody else, I think we've all got to focus on our own areas," Russell explained.

"And we are the drivers, our job is to drive the car as fast as possible, but also help direct the team forward in the developments that we want from the race car.

"We're spending a lot of time on the simulator, trying to find out what it was from the previous weekend we could have done better, what it is moving forward we need to be doing with the car and what it is in the mid to longer term that needs to be changed.

“There's always more that as a driver you can be doing more of. But it's man and machine and it's that interaction together that's so important.

"So you're working collectively with your engineers on how you as a driver can get more out of the car, the tyre, what you require from the setup. But then as a team, how you can work to move forward over overtime."

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