George Russell Tipped to Replace Hamilton at Mercedes for Sakhir GP: Reports

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After Lewis Hamilton tested positive for coronavirus, there is a constant discussion of who would occupy his Mercedes seat for the forthcoming Sakhir GP. The natural replacement would see reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne take Hamilton’s place in the race.

However, fresh rumors have emerged, stating Williams’ George Russell might just be the man for the job to pair up alongside Valtteri Bottas. The 22-year-old would, of course, receive a golden opportunity to impress Mercedes, should he get the chance.

Russell is a natural choice, considering he is also part of the Mercedes’ junior drivers program. However, it will be interesting to see if Williams would let the young Briton go amidst their own F1 objectives.

Mercedes could announce their decision on Wednesday

A report by the Race states, “However, Williams is understood by The Race to be open to the idea of letting Russell race for Mercedes in Bahrain – and Mercedes may need him again in Abu Dhabi next week depending on Hamilton’s isolation schedule and whether he can test negative in time for the season finale.”

Williams are a long-standing customer team of the Mercedes engines. So, they have struck up a good working partnership in recent history. However, the specifics of the deal to temporarily take Russell on still remain unknown as of now.

George Russell during the Emilia Romagna GP press conference
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Williams’ George Russell during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

The report goes on to say, “It is unclear what kind of deal will need to be struck to convince Williams to part with its driver but as a Mercedes customer team it has a good working relationship and wants to maintain that. A decision is expected to be communicated on Wednesday,” concludes the report.

George Russell could finally get his first points in his F1 career

It has not been the dream start to an F1 career that Russell would have hoped for. Despite spending nearly two seasons with Williams now, he is yet to secure an F1 point in the Drivers’ Standings.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during the Bahrain Grand Prix race
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

With what is the best car on the grid, Russell could finally break the duck in Sakhir. What is more, he can also underline his credentials as Hamilton’s rightful successor at Mercedes in the future.

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