Williams axe rumours fuelled by Perez camp, says Russell

George Russell believes speculation about his Formula 1 future with Williams has been “fed by the Perez camp”, and expects clarity about his position from the team within a week.

Williams axe rumours fuelled by Perez camp, says Russell

Current Racing Point driver Sergio Perez is looking for a seat for 2021 after being released by the team to make way for Sebastian Vettel next year.

While Williams announced back in July that Russell and teammate Nicholas Latifi would be retained for 2021, the team has since changed ownership, leading to fresh doubt emerging in the last week about Russell's future.

Acting team principal Simon Roberts refused to confirm on Friday that Russell and Latifi would be staying for 2021, but stressed he was eager to avoid fuelling any speculation.

Speaking after Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, Russell said he thought the rumours about his future had been fuelled by Perez's management in a bid to try and help the Mexican's chances of landing a seat elsewhere for 2021.

"I think all of this speculation has probably been fed by the Perez camp, who are trying to apply pressure on other teams further down the grid, potentially [for] a Red Bull seat," Russell said.

"That's my view on it. I've got a contract, I've got nothing to worry about, and I'm just here focusing on my job."

Russell said on Thursday that he would look to speak to Williams' new management about the rumours this weekend. Dorilton Capital chairman Matthew Savage was on site from Friday onwards in Portimao.

The British driver confirmed he had discussed the speculation with Dorilton, and anticipated receiving further clarity about his future in the next seven days.

"They've said they have no idea where these rumours have come from," Russell said.

"They never like to comment on contractual situations obviously following Simon's press conference on Friday, things again were taken probably slightly out of context, which is exactly what the team didn't want to do.

"Ultimately the team didn't want to comment on it because they felt like it isn't necessary, and it's just opening themselves up to further queries later down the line.

"I've got a contract, and I'll be on the grid next year, and I'm very confident of that. I think something pretty substantial would have to happen in the coming weeks for anything to change.

"There's obviously a lot of speculation. I think it's been fed from other people. Everything will be, like I said, everything will be fine.

"I'd say [it will be] 100% clarified from the team's perspective probably no later than the end of next week."

Read Also:

Russell is part of Mercedes' junior programme, but the German marque has already conceded it has no say in his future and that the decision is entirely up to Williams.

Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff said on Saturday that Russell would be handed a "sensational" testing programme in 2021 were he to be left without a seat.

But the 2018 F2 champion said there had been no discussions with Mercedes about a back-up option for next year if he is not racing.

"No, we've not talked about a fallback," Russell said. "[Wolff] said, 'listen, I've got your back', and he said 'you'll be on the grid next year, and don't worry'."

shares
comments

Related video

Why history risks repeating itself for Mercedes’ star F1 junior

Previous article

Why history risks repeating itself for Mercedes’ star F1 junior

Next article

Leading Portuguese GP "a nice taste" for McLaren

Leading Portuguese GP "a nice taste" for McLaren
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021