George Russell will remain with Williams for the 2021 Formula 1 season after speculation over his position and “confusion” over his future with the team.
Williams announced in July that Russell and Nicholas Latifi would be retained as their roster for 2021, albeit ahead of a change in team ownership.
Racing Point driver Sergio Perez has emerged as a candidate for Russell’s seat in recent weeks, potentially providing financial support that could boost new owner Dorilton Capital’s future local networks for the team.
Although Russell said he had “no worries” about his future, Simon Roberts, Williams F1 car chief, declined to confirm that the existing drivers would stay on next year.
But Roberts has confirmed Russell and Latifi will stay with Williams for 2021 ahead of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
“I probably caused a bit of confusion last week, I’m sorry about that,” Roberts said.
“We didn’t really want to comment on the pilot’s position. But like George said, Claire [Williams] made the announcement earlier this year, nothing has changed.
“This is our rider line-up for this year and next year. We are very happy with them and we look forward to working with them on an ongoing basis.”
Russell said last weekend that he expected to get clarification from the new owners of Williams on his future this week, and that he believed most of the rumors about his future had been “fueled by the camp. Perez “.
“It’s never nice to hear speculation that your work is potentially up for grabs,” Russell said Thursday.
“But nonetheless, I was confident in what I could perform on the track and ultimately I had to speak on the track.
“As Simon said, I was convinced that nothing would change as we approach 2021, even with all the speculation going around.
“Like I said, I think a lot of speculation has been fueled by other teams around the drivers to create these issues over the past couple of weeks.”
This marks another closed avenue for Perez to stay on the grid for next year, leaving Red Bull as his only realistic option to secure a seat in 2021.
Red Bull has said it will look outside its existing driver pool if it chooses to drop Alexander Albon for next year, making Perez or Nico Hulkenberg potential candidates.
Although Haas has yet to announce his roster for next year, he is expected to face two rookies, with F2 riders Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher in line to secure the seats.