Russell will ‘welcome anybody’ as his 2025 teammate

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George Russell says he will welcome with open arms his future incoming teammate at Mercedes, whoever it will happen to be.

The Brackley squad is currently pondering its options for filling Lewis Hamilton’s coveted seat for 2025 following the Briton’s bombshell decision to switch his allegiance from the Silver Arrows outfit to Ferrari.

Short-listed by pundits as a potential contender, Fernando Alonso is now out of the running following his decision to extend his contract with his current team, Aston Martin.

The rumor mill insists on spinning a sensational and equally improbable move by Max Verstappen from Red Bull to Mercedes despite the Dutchman repeatedly stating that Milton Keynes will likely remain his home until the end of his contract with the bulls in 2028.

In Italy, reports emerged last week claiming that a deal between Carlos Sainz – the man Hamilton is replacing at Ferrari and a driver in high demand – and Mercedes had been signed and sealed.

While a hard contract may not have been signed yet between the team and Sainz, the Spaniard certainly appears as Mercedes’ most logical choice for 2025, although its protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli is a close second.

But sources at Mercedes have suggested that the talented 17-year-old, given his lack of experience, is more likely to serve his F1 apprenticeship with Williams – as Russell did for three seasons – than with the former championship winning team.

Finally, Sebastian Vettel has hinted at a return to the F1 fray, the five-time world champion admitting to regularly communicating with Wolff recently.

“Yeah, I mean, Sebastian’s a great person and he’s a four-time World Champion and for sure his personality is missed on the grid,” said Russell, commenting on the speculation surrounding the identity of his future Mercedes teammate, quoted by Motorsport Week. .

“And I think it’s important that we have the best 20 drivers in the world all competing for race wins and championships.

“So, as I said before… I’m really happy and open to have anybody as my team-mate.

“Whether it’s [a] World Champion, whether it’s a rookie, it doesn’t change how I go about my business. And yeah, as I said, we’ll welcome anybody.”

Russell is likely to endorse a more senior role with Mercedes after Hamilton’s departure. But that doesn’t mean that the 26-year-old will receive preferred treatment on race weekends.

“They want to give both drivers the best chance of achieving the best result and going into next year, no matter who my team-mate is going to be, that will still continue to be the same,” he said.

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