Red Bull tease 'snapping up' Russell if Mercedes don't promote him for 2022

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Red Bull have teasingly admitted George Russell would be an option to consider if Mercedes didn't promote him for 2022.

The Briton is widely expected to be called up from Williams to replace Valtteri Bottas alongside Lewis Hamilton from next season, although the wait for a final decision could go on until the summer.

Perhaps then in a bid then to speed Mercedes up, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko was quite serious in suggesting the 23-year-old would be on his radar if, for some reason, the German manufacturer remained reluctant to give him his chance.

"Russell is certainly worth considering with the performances he is showing at Williams now," Marko told

"But it's utopia. If Mercedes were to let him go, that would be such a faux pas. I honestly can't imagine it."

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The Austrian's view was also echoed by Red Bull boss Christian Horner ahead of the British Grand Prix.

“If George was on the open market then I think a lot of teams would want to snap him up,” he told Sky Sports.

“He’s a great, young talent but he is under contract to Mercedes and I’m sure they have a clear plan for him.

“He’s going to be chomping at the bit to get his chance now. I think he has served his apprenticeship and he’s obviously ready for that next step.

“You would be foolish not to look at him [if Russell was available] but I don’t believe that is the case because of his agreement with Mercedes.

“But he needs that chance and opportunity now and Toto (Wolff, Mercedes team boss) should give him a go. Lewis [Hamilton] and George would be a strong dynamic and it would be great for British motorsport.

“He’s served his apprenticeship now.”

Interestingly, Russell was asked about the possibility of looking beyond Mercedes during an appearance on the F1 Nation podcast, and his answer wouldn't exactly detract a Red Bull approach.

“I am a Mercedes driver and I am currently loyal to Mercedes,” he said.

“They have stood by my side since day one and given me all of my opportunities. I trust that they have my best interests at heart.

“But I always like to keep a relationship open with everyone really. I never like to close any doors and if somebody asked for a conversation then I would never say no.

“You never know what happens in the future and things change pretty drastically.

“You only have to look at Stefano [Domenicali]. He was team principal of Ferrari and now he is the CEO of Formula 1. I guess maybe 10 years ago, you might not have predicted that.”