Felipe Massa believes George Russell deserves a place with a top team like Mercedes. That’s what the former Williams driver said when asked about the young Brit.
According to Massa, Russell is a sensational driver who has not been able to show what he can do in his two seasons at Williams so far because the car was not made for it. But when he was used as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes last year at the Sakhir GP, he showed his ability, narrowly missing out on pole position.
It is also important to remember that the contracts of the two Mercedes drivers expire after 2021. If it were all about Massa, Russell would deserve and get a fixed spot next year at Mercedes. The odds aren’t that low, as the second spot next to seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, in particular, is not quite as competitive as they would like. Valtteri Bottas would need a superb season to avoid being dropped. That is what the Brazilian thinks, too.
After the crash between Bottas and Russell, Massa sees more blame on the Brit in his interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport: “George is a great driver, even though he made a mistake at Imola. I appreciate the fact that he apologized when he calmed down. It’s a sign that he’s growing up. He deserves a chance, and I hope Mercedes will give him that chance at some point.”
Massa also knows that it’s hard for Bottas to have that “second car” next to Hamilton. That makes you fail on the “mental side”. And that is what happened to the Finn. But he does not want to be too sure about the future with the German racing team. Lewis Hamilton does not have a contract yet either, and there have also been rumors of his retirement for some time.