Cease billing it Russell v Bottas, says Mercedes boss Wolff

Lewis Hamilton’s stand-in George Russell is just not 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 workforce to take the place of the newly-crowned 2020 champion. It’s at present unclear whether or not Hamilton will have the ability 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 extensively anticipated to take action.

Russell began properly, topping the opening practice 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 offer you any significant knowledge in any respect.

“If George does properly it is a sign that he’ll sooner or later be in automobile and hopefully race for victories and world championships. That is far-off, he is aware of that, he simply must ship a stable job, not make any errors and simply proceed what he has finished.

“There isn’t any shootout, we’ve complete belief in Valtteri and loyalty, we have all the time had. That’s our place.”

Bottas was requested the identical query throughout Thursday’s media day, throughout which he admitted it will be tough to elucidate being overwhelmed by Russell in a clear battle.

“If I’ve to offer some type 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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