George Russell to drive for Mercedes in 2022 tyre test

By Sports Desk August 02, 2021

George Russell will get behind the wheel of a Mercedes this week as speculation around a Formula One promotion persists.

Russell is widely considered to be vying with current Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for a seat next season.

And the Williams man will get the opportunity to join the team in Hungary on Tuesday to test the 18-inch tyres that will be used in 2022.

Russell was part of Mercedes' junior driver programme before getting his F1 opportunity with Williams and has tested for the Silver Arrows previously.

The 23-year-old even stood in for Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix when the world champion had tested positive for coronavirus.

A pit-stop mix-up cost Russell the victory on that occasion, but a ninth-placed finish secured his first points.

The Bottas rivalry will draw extra attention to Russell's performance this week, though, coming straight after his best ever result at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Russell finished eighth, earning points with Williams for the first time.

Bottas had started from second after a record-equalling 80th qualifying one-two for Mercedes, but he crashed on lap one in a chaotic start.

Related items

  • Verstappen defends Piquet after Hamilton slur: 'He's definitely not a racist' Verstappen defends Piquet after Hamilton slur: 'He's definitely not a racist'

    Max Verstappen has stated Nelson Piquet is "not a racist" but condemned the Brazilian's "very offensive" slur towards Lewis Hamilton.

    The former Formula One champion has faced backlash after an interview emerged following last season's British Grand Prix in which he was alleged to have used a racial slur in reference to Hamilton, prompting widespread criticism across the F1 paddock.

    Verstappen has condemned the comments from Piquet, which he said were "very offensive", but he defended the character of the 69-year-old, who is the father of his partner Kelly.

    "I've spent a bit of time with Nelson, and he's definitely not a racist, and he's actually a really nice and relaxed guy," he told reporters on Thursday.

    "The statement he released, you can see the word in two ways, but I think it's still better not to use it.

    "It's not only about that word, using offensive language to anyone, any colour, is not correct. That's to anyone in the world, not just to Lewis specifically.

    "I think he realised it was probably not the correct word to use, and clearly it is not.

    "It can be interpreted in two ways, and of course people pick up on the bad side and of course it gets really blown, I think, out of proportion.

    "I know Nelson personally and people of course label him as a racist now, which I don't think he is, but I fully agree that you cannot use these words."

    It has widely been reported F1 will now ban Piquet from the paddock, but Verstappen added he did not feel that would be the correct move.

    "When you ban people, you are actually not helping the situation," he said. "You're not talking.

    "You have to communicate. It's really important, because if you just ban, it's not helping what you're trying to enforce."

  • Hamilton says 'older voices' Ecclestone and Piquet should not be given a platform Hamilton says 'older voices' Ecclestone and Piquet should not be given a platform

    Lewis Hamilton has slammed Bernie Ecclestone's support of Russian President Vladimir Putin and declared he is "not with the times."

    Ex-Formula One supremo Ecclestone stated during an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday that he would "take a bullet" for “first-class person” Putin.

    When it was put to Ecclestone that thousands of innocent people have been killed in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, he replied “it wasn't intentional.”

    The 91-year-old also said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should have done more to stop the ongoing war.

    Ecclestone’s comments come during a grim week for motorsport, with Nelson Piquet having been condemned for a racist comment made about Hamilton and Red Bull axing reserve driver Juri Vips for a racial slur he used in an online streaming session.

    Ecclestone also declared seven-time F1 champion Hamilton should be "happy" that he received an apology from Piquet and ought to have "brushed aside" the Brazilian’s racist slur.

    Hamilton responded by referencing Ecclestone and Piquet as "older voices", declaring they have "nothing positive" to contribute.

    "We push for action. There needs to be some accountability. What is [the platforms'] goal? We don't need [these voices] anymore," he said during a news conference.

    "To hear it from someone who ultimately believes in the war, the killing of millions of people? I can't believe it. They have nothing positive to contribute to where we want to go.

    "I have always tried to take the higher road and be respectful. It ties back to - why do we give them a platform? They are not with the times. They are not willing to change. Microaggression in today's world is not healthy."

    Sebastian Vettel was among those who spoke out in support of Hamilton in Thursday's media session, addressing the abuse that the British driver has faced throughout his career.

    "I think it’s more than just the recent, it’s what he and his family has been through his entire life," he said.

    "The abuse was wrong and it was great to see such a response from the F1 community on the matter and towards Lewis.

    "There shouldn’t be any room for these kinds of comments. It doesn’t help when there are still these things out here and using inappropriate language. 

    "It is important to talk about it because it won’t be gone overnight and we have a responsibility to try and address these issues.

    "Kindness matters and people matter. It was bad to see what was going on."

  • Hamilton says America, UK have 'gone backwards' Hamilton says America, UK have 'gone backwards'

    Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton believes the United States and the United Kingdom have "gone backwards" following a number of political decisions.

    Last week, the Supreme Court in the US overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade case and removed the constitutional right to abortion – with individual states now able to make their own laws.

    Meanwhile, the UK is still adjusting to its exit from the European Union and faces a cost-of-living crisis

    Speaking ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix, F1 superstar Hamilton condemned the state of affairs in both countries.

    "America has gone backwards. Everything happening in the UK has gone backwards. People are struggling. We have to pull together," he told a news conference.

    Hamilton had previously addressed the matter of abortion ahead of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix earlier this year, where he made his feelings on the matter clear.

    "I love being in the States. But I can't ignore what's going on right now and what some in the government are trying to do to the women who live here," he said.

    "Everyone should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. We can't let that choice be taken away.”

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.