Russell: Every F1 driver would accept Mercedes call

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George Russell admits he, along with every Formula 1 driver, would accept if Mercedes came calling with a seat offer.

As a junior driver, the Briton's name is near the top of the list as potential replacements should either Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas leave the German manufacturer in the future.

However, while Russell would certainly not bypass the opportunity to join Mercedes, he also explained why he isn't obsessed by that possibility.

“Every F1 driver wants to be world champion and is looking for a chance to win the title,” he said via Japan’s AutoSport Web.

“Every driver who gets a call from Mercedes, including me, would go for it because Mercedes is the team dominating F1 today.

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“But,” he noted, “I don’t want to think too much ahead because then you don’t concentrate on the job at hand.

“As long as I continue to drive well, I know that offers will come from somewhere, that’s why I concentrate on every race and every free practice. I know what I can do.

“Opportunities will come if you maximise your strength in each and every session.”

And optimising his performance is all Russell can do right now at a Williams team that has been stuck at the back of the grid in recent years.

Last year, in his rookie season, the 21-year-old sat as the only driver not to score a point but would outqualify teammate Robert Kubica 21-0 and had a considerable pace advantage at most races.

Now, with a new teammate in Nicholas Latifit for 2020, the Grove-based squad hopes he can do that again.

“George did such a good job last year,” deputy team boss Claire Williams said via Motorsport Week.

“We just need more of the same from George and I have no doubts [that] he’ll deliver in the way he did last year.

“I know that George just wants to be given a race car that he can actually show some of his real talent and the onus is on us in order to do that," she added.

“He’s been working hard, he’s in Lanzarote for a training camp, and he’s really keen to get back into the car and see where it is.”

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