George Russell sets Mercedes contract deadline amid Lewis Hamilton team-mate speculation

George Russell says he hopes to get his future secured over the summer break, after speculation the Williams driver had already committed himself to Mercedes for 2022.

Rumours have been swirling for weeks now that Russell had already been informed he is to replace Valtteri Bottas at the team, with both Mercedes drivers and the Brit currently out of contract come the end of the season.

Lewis Hamilton has recently suggested conversations have begun with the seven-time champions, however Bottas reiterated once again on Thursday, ahead of the French Grand Prix, that he had yet to open talks.

Bottas quashed any suggestion that he has been informed by Mercedes he no longer has a future with the team, with Russell admitting ‘nothing is set in stone’.

“Obviously I’m aware of all the speculation, but right now just enjoying driving, race by race,” said the 23-year-old.

“I want to get my future nailed down at some point, but right now I’m just focused on this weekend, French Grand Prix, and to Austria.

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“So I’m just fully focused on my job at the moment, hopefully, my future will get settled one way or another, maybe come the summer break.

“But right now, just enjoying the racing, the better job you do on track, the more chance you have to secure a future.

“Formula One is a ruthless sport, there are only enough spots for 20 drivers, and you’ve got to be on your A-game.

“You can’t be getting too carried away looking into the future, because if you start having a bad run of form, suddenly everything can change.

“Maximum attack for the next four days.”

The heat is on Bottas after he slipped down the driver’s standings to sixth after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in which he finished 12th in Baku.

Yet, when asked if he had other options, bar the Silver Arrows, the 31-year-old admitted it’s something he has put to the back of his mind.

“I haven’t really thought about it yet that deeply, honestly, obviously, you can’t always block the noise that is around, and every season it’s the same thing,” added Bottas.

“Same questions and same speculations, that’s part of the sport, I think it’s a bit too early for me to answer that in detail.

“We haven’t yet discussed anything about the contract with Mercedes, that will come eventually.”

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