Marko calls out Mercedes over young drivers in a warning to Russell

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has called out Mercedes over their handling of junior drivers in Formula 1.

With Lewis Hamilton expected to sign a new deal, attention is turning to the seat next to him currently filled by Valtteri Bottas.

In the wake of his Ferrari departure news, Sebastian Vettel has been linked as an outside choice to replace the Finn and could have the interest of Daimler if one report is to be believed.

Then there's George Russell, the young Briton who is currently stuck at Williams, while his F2 rivals Lando Norris and Alex Albon get competitive seats at McLaren and Red Bull.

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Recently, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggested he would prioritise those drivers currently tied to the company including Russell, but Marko noted the German manufacturer's terrible history with promoting youth.

“Unfortunately for him [Vettel] the seats at the top teams are taken but it’s funny to hear that Toto says that they look at their own young drivers," he told Austria's ORF.

“Until today no Mercedes junior made it to the cockpit but maybe that changes.”

Indeed, proving the Red Bull advisor's point is the fate of Pascal Wehrlein, who went from impressing at Manor in 2016 to eventually leaving Mercedes at the end of 2018 to compete in Formula E.

Then, Esteban Ocon was left seatless last year when Racing Point dropped him after 2018 and now finds himself at Renault as Mercedes chose not to upset Lewis Hamilton and insert the Frenchman alongside for 2020.

Both of them were once considered the future of the team as Russell is now, so it would be something for the Briton to keep in mind when he considers his next career move.