Wolff: Russell’s Williams F1 future is out of Mercedes’ hands

Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff says George Russell’s future is entirely for Williams to decide amid Sergio Perez’s links to the Briton’s seat for 2021.

Wolff: Russell’s Williams F1 future is out of Mercedes’ hands
Listen to this article

Williams announced back in July that Mercedes junior driver Russell would continue into the third year of his contract with the team in 2021, partnering Nicholas Latifi.

But a change in ownership in September has led to a fresh review of the team’s driver line-up, with new owner Dorilton Capital considering alternative options.

Russell said on Thursday that he had “no concerns” about his future and that he would look to talk to the team’s management this weekend. Dorilton Capital chairman Matthew Savage was on site at Portimao on Friday, watching practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Acting team principal Simon Roberts said on Friday that “nothing has changed” with Williams’ line-up for 2021, but refused to confirm that both Russell and Latifi would remain for next year.

Russell has been part of Mercedes’ junior programme since 2017, and was linked with a move up to its senior team earlier this year prior to its decision to retain Valtteri Bottas, but now faces the possibility of not having a seat at all should Perez be signed to replace him. Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said Russell’s future was entirely up to Williams to decide, and that he could not judge the financial picture the team faced.

“At the end, it’s Williams’ decision,” Wolff said. “We all know about George’s capabilities. He’s a star of the future, and remains unbeaten by his teammates in Formula 1 [in qualifying]. Sometimes he is able to show highlights in a car that is not competitive at the moment, and I think he’s a great team asset.

“But then obviously there is a financial reality that I cannot judge at all. It’s absolutely the discretion of the new owners and Simon to decide what they want to do going forward.”

Read Also:

Russell does not bring any financial backing to Williams, which is something that both current teammate Latifi and Perez would be able to offer.

Perez said on Thursday that he hoped to have news on his F1 future soon, but refused to be drawn on whether he was in talks with Williams. Wolff confirmed that Mercedes had been in contact with Williams to see where the ground lay regarding Russell’s future since the Perez links emerged.

“Yeah, we touched base about George,” added Wolff. “But at the end, like I said, it’s their call.”

shares
comments

Related video

Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel & more
Previous article

Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel & more

Next article

FIA relaxes Portimao track limits after practice farce

FIA relaxes Portimao track limits after practice farce
How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022