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‘Seeing the names pop up on Toto’s phone has been quite funny’ – Russell on the drivers chasing Hamilton's Mercedes seat

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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 06: George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes attends the Drivers

George Russell says that he has been entertained by the calls and messages that he and Mercedes have received from other drivers since a seat became available at the team in 2025, following Lewis Hamilton’s decision to switch to Ferrari.

The F1 world was taken by surprise in early February when it was confirmed that Hamilton will join the Scuderia next season, bringing an end to his decade-long partnership with Mercedes. While Hamilton had previously signed a contract extension to keep him with the team until the end of 2025, the seven-time champ activated a release option which allowed him to make the move.

READ MORE: Russell reflects on ‘frustrating’ Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Hamilton predicts ‘challenging’ races ahead for Mercedes

While various names have been speculated as potential candidates for Hamilton’s vacant seat, Russell is not worried about who ultimately joins him at the squad.

“It's gonna be an interesting few months to see what happens,” said Russell. “But from my side, I've been team mates with arguably the greatest driver of all time for the past two years, and I've got no concerns at all who lines up alongside me. I want to be tested against the very best and I feel that's what I've had the last two years.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 08: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes and George Russell of

Hamilton and Russell are now in their third and final season as team mates at Mercedes

“Whether it’s an experienced driver or a young driver. I feel that personally, I'm in a great position to help push the team forward and go into this next chapter.”

When asked how much of a say he will have when it comes to the driver decision, Russell responded: “I think for any team it's important to have good harmony between the drivers, because that trickles down to all of the engineers, and the whole team, but ultimately the decision's with Toto [Wolff] and the board.

READ MORE: Wolff ‘would love’ to have Verstappen as there’s no team who ‘wouldn’t do handstands’ to sign him

“We've already had a lot of conversations and I've been with Toto a lot this winter, so seeing the drivers' names pop up on the telephone has been quite funny and and even on my phone as well, I've had a few phone calls and and text messages.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 23: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes (L),

Russell says that both he and Wolff have received contact from drivers over Hamilton's vacant seat for 2025

“So it's been quite interesting, but as a team, we're in a really good opportunity and position to go into this next chapter, [after] so much success with Lewis and Mercedes.”

Speculation over who could become Russell’s team mate at Mercedes has seen various names thrown into the mix, from young up-and-coming drivers to those who can bring more experience. 

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Russell also recently made it clear that he would have no issues with Max Verstappen joining the team following rumours linking the Dutchman with a future switch to the Silver Arrows.

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