Williams refuses to confirm Russell and Latifi for 2021

Acting Williams Formula 1 chief Simon Roberts refused to confirm George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will both stay for 2021, but says “nothing has changed” with the team’s driver plans.

Williams refuses to confirm Russell and Latifi for 2021

Williams announced back in July that both Russell and Latifi would be staying with the team for the 2021 season, prior to its takeover by Dorilton Capital at the beginning of September.

Racing Point driver Sergio Perez recently emerged as a possible option for Williams amid the Mexican’s push to find a seat for next year, leading to suggestions he could replace Russell.

Russell said on Thursday that he had “no concerns” about his future with Williams, and that he has a firm contract in place for next year.

Speaking on Friday, acting team principal Roberts said that “nothing has changed” regarding the team’s driver plans for 2021.

“There’s lot of speculation, there’s lots of good drivers around that are now looking for seats,” Roberts said.

“Dorilton bought the team, and nothing changed. I can’t say any more than that.”

But when asked to confirm that Russell and Latifi will be with the team in 2021, Roberts replied: “I’m not going to say anything about either of our drivers. They’ve both done a great job. There’s so much speculation around.

“I don’t want to inadvertently fuel it. Someone will take some nuance of what I say, so we’re happy. Let’s watch the rest of the market.

"I’m just not going to talk about it. Dorilton bought the team, nothing changed with regards to the drivers.

“There’s just so much speculation and rumour, it’s crazy. It’s silly season after all. We’re not saying any more than that.”

Asked if it would be possible to put an end to this speculation by ruling out the signing of Perez for 2021, Roberts said: “Possibly, but we just don’t want to say anything, one way or another.

“We’re here focusing on a race weekend. We haven’t got any news. Gunther [Steiner] is here, he has got some news. We’ve got plenty on this morning.

“We’re running lots of parts in FP1 and we’ve got to get through all of that and get our drivers in the best possible place for Saturday and Sunday.”

Read Also:

Were Williams to opt for a change in driver line-up for next year, it is likely that Russell would be the driver to make way given Latifi brings sizeable financial backing and sponsorship from Canada.

Perez also has an attractive amount of sponsorship from Mexico, as well as experience from nearly a decade of racing in F1.

Roberts said any driver decision would be “made by the management committee and the board of Williams Formula 1” and that “it’s a very normal situation”.

“We’ve nothing to say on that matter right now,” he added. “That’s all I can say.”

shares
comments

Related video

Portuguese GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening practice

Previous article

Portuguese GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening practice

Next article

Tsunoda set for FP1 run with AlphaTauri

Tsunoda set for FP1 run with AlphaTauri
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
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

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
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