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Williams CEO Jost Capito has suggested that George Russell is a little bit like Lewis Hamilton and declared his belief that he could be powerless to stop Mercedes from picking up the 23-year-old at the end of the season.
“I think he’s better than his reputation,” Capito told Auto Motor und Sport when quizzed on Latifi. “Having George as a team-mate is like having Hamilton as a team-mate. This is not an easy task. Nicholas does it really well. I’m very satisfied.”
Russell has been tipped by many to replace Hamilton at Mercedes when the 36-year-old eventually decides to retire from F1.
“When Mercedes makes a driver an offer, it’s hard for someone to keep him,” he added. “It doesn’t matter which driver, in which team.”
Despite the looming threat of a Mercedes move for Russell, Capito revealed that he is not making any contingency plans as of yet.
“It’s too early now,” he explained. “Several contracts are expiring. At some point, the silly season will start, don’t let it start earlier than necessary.
“At the moment it would be wrong to focus on alternatives or ask what a driver will do next year. That’s too early in my opinion. We need to focus on the team first.”