Having already denied it George Russell Sakhir’s outing is a “shootout” for the seat of Valtteri Bottas, as Tutu Wolff says he will have no “influence” on contract talks with Lewis Hamilton.

Russell is racing for Mercedes in this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, who has been called up to replace Hamilton after the world champion tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

Hamilton’s positive test opened the door for Mercedes to get a better look at their young driver Russell, who was bobbing in the back of the grid with Williams and hadn’t yet scored a single championship point.

The 22-year-old showed on Friday what he could do if he was given a better car, Topping schedules in each of the Friday training sessions.

Russell’s cameo comes at an interesting time as Mercedes has yet to lock Hamilton into a new contract as talks are only expected to begin after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Wolf denied that Russell’s strong performance could lead to Mercedes playing hard for the seven-time world champion.

“We discussed having George in the car,” he told media at the Bahrain Circuit. “We know what we have with Luis and he knows what he has with the team.

“Such a situation will never be used as a kind of bargaining power, neither by him nor by us – he can do both ways.

“I respect very much who he is, how he drives his car, his records, and what happens this week or the next has no bearing on our conversations.”

He added: “At the end of this week and possibly next weekend, it will give us more information in our general understanding of George’s performance, but we know that we are racing next year with Lewis and Valtteri and where we are in 2022 will all depend on how we play the 2022 season will go, not through the performance.” George is in an oval shape in Bahrain and at the end of the season in Abu Dhabi. “

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As for his contract talks with Hamilton, Wolf says those talks are on hold while the 35-year-old is in isolation.

He said, “Well, the schedule is being put off until he recovers. We know we need to do that, and we are well aware, both of us, but now the priority is for him to get back on his feet and get back into the negative.

“And then we’ll meet, or grow up, to put pen to paper.”

Wolf previously denied the possibility of seeing Russell A. The “showdown” between the British and Potash For seat Mercedes.

“Not at all,” Wolf said. “I’ve heard this rumor and it is clear that you cannot call it penalties when it comes to one or two races. It gives you no meaningful data whatsoever.

“If George does a good job that is an indication that one day he will be in a good car and hopefully he will race for victories and world championships – but that’s far away. He knows that.

“He just needs to do well, make no mistakes, and carry on with what he’s done.

“There is no crossfire. We have complete confidence in Valtteri and our loyalty as always – that is our position.”

When asked how he would deal with Bottas if the Finn were defeated by Russell this weekend, Wolf insisted he would not have to spend time pleasing his driver.

He said, “Valtrei was never a person who needed reassurance.” “He knows where he is, he knows where he is in the team, how we support each other and we must remain realistic.

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“George is a highly rated young driver, he’s one of the most rated drivers so he is expected to be fast. He knows the team and this is a fifty-second cycle where you need to be in the right place at the right time with the right engine modes.”

“In that respect, that would be fine. We all expected George to be there, and see how the weekend ends.”

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