Cease billing it Russell v Bottas, says Mercedes boss Wolff

Lewis Hamilton’s stand-in George Russell just isn’t in a straight shootout for a 2022 seat with Valtteri Bottas on the Sakhir Grand Prix, in accordance with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

With Hamilton lacking the penultimate race of the season having contracted COVID-19, Mercedes junior Russell has stepped up from the backmarking Williams staff to take the place of the newly-crowned 2020 champion. It’s at present unclear whether or not Hamilton will be capable to return for the Abu Dhabi Gand Prix on Dec. 13.

Russell will keep at Williams subsequent season, whereas Bottas signed a one-year contract extension earlier this season. Hamilton is but to signal a deal past this yr however is broadly anticipated to take action.

Russell began effectively, topping the opening observe session of the week on Friday.

In a digital press convention held after that session, Wolff was requested if it was honest to see this weekend as a shootout between the pair, to which he replied: “In no way, I’ve heard this hearsay.

“You’ll be able to’t name it a shootout when it is about one or two races. That does not provide you with any significant knowledge in anyway.

“If George does effectively it is a sign that he’ll in the future be in a very good automotive and hopefully race for victories and world championships. That is distant, he is aware of that, he simply must ship a stable job, not make any errors and simply proceed what he has carried out.

“There is no shootout, we now have whole belief in Valtteri and loyalty, we have at all times had. That’s our place.”

Bottas was requested the identical query throughout Thursday’s media day, throughout which he admitted it might be troublesome to clarify being overwhelmed Russell in a clear struggle.

“If I’ve to offer some sort of reply, I might say if he beats me, for certain, it would not look so good for me if I had a traditional race and he beats me honest and sq..”

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