Williams think their 2022 seat will be hot property

Mark Scott
George Russell, Williams

George Russell, Williams

Williams are ready to bide their time over who partners Nicholas Latifi in 2022, saying there will be no shortage of options if George Russell leaves.

Williams are at the mercy of Mercedes as they continue to mull over whether to replace Valtteri Bottas with Russell next season.

The Grove-based team would love to keep hold of Russell for another year but, if that is not possible, Williams CEO Jost Capito seemingly has an abundance of options to choose from given who has been in touch so far.

He has said that is an indication that Williams are a team that is on the up again.

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“I think we have time,” Capito told reporters in France.

“When I see what the contacts are, Williams seems to be the team where the drivers want to go to.

“They see what the new owners have done in the past, what they are doing. They see the investment, they see the changes of the team, they see the spirit is good, and they know that Williams very much looks after drivers and employees.

“For the months to come, I’m sure Williams will become more and more attractive for drivers. That’s why we don’t have any rush.”

There was plenty of pre-race chatter about Russell’s potential move to Mercedes in 2022, but Capito does not feel the speculation will affect his performances for the team.

“I don’t think so, he’s a very strong personality,” Capito added.

“He knows where he stands and his capabilities, and his performance, I don’t see that at all. I think he’s very relaxed.

“He is happy with us this year. It’s not the performance of the car he would like to have, but he sees the team is moving forward and he sees that in the future.

“That’s why he’s very confident and not bothered by this, I am sure.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told reporters in France on Friday that it may not be until winter when they choose from Bottas or Russell – but he said the following day that he was on a wind-up and the decision will be made much sooner.

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