Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says George Russell won’t be in the conversation when they consider their driver options for the 2020 season.
The 21-year-old came through the junior ranks of the Silver Arrows and has impressed this year at Williams, despite the Grove-based outfit finding themselves towards the rear of the field for much of the campaign.
The Brit has penned a three-year deal with Williams but his form in the first half of the season has led to reports that he is under consideration to replace Valtteri Bottas when his contract expires at the end of 2019.
Russell played down the suggestion he could be promoted to drive alongside Lewis Hamilton next year after the Hungary Grand Prix and Wolff has admitted it is too early for him to drive for Mercedes.
The reigning Constructors’ champions say it will be a straight fight between Bottas and reserve driver Esteban Ocon to partner Hamilton next season.
I don’t think that you are given the possibility to learn in a Mercedes because you are put in a car that is able to win races and championships, in a high-pressure environment,
the Mercedes boss told Sky Sports.
I think that it can go terribly wrong – for a young driver who has the talent to become a world champion – if he’s thrown in that environment next to the best driver of his generation, who has been with us for seven years.
I wouldn’t want to burn George.
I think it would come too early.