Russell/Bottas swap not being ruled out by Williams

Mark Scott
George Russell and Valtteri Bottas

Williams team principal, Jost Capito, has said it is “all open” with regards to the respective futures of George Russell and Valtteri Bottas.

The Formula 1 rumour mill is in overdrive ahead of the French Grand Prix with numerous reports suggesting that Russell will replace Bottas at Mercedes.

Both Bottas and Russell are technically out of contract at the end of the 2021 campaign, with the Finn only signing one-year options at a time with the Silver Arrows ever since his arrival in 2017 and Russell coming to the end what has effectively been a three-year ‘loan spell’ from Mercedes to Williams.

With Bottas well adrift in the Drivers’ Championship and not getting the results to help Mercedes stay on top in the Constructors’ battle, there is a widespread feeling that Bottas’ days at the Silver Arrows are numbered.

Meanwhile, German publication RTL are now claiming they have a timeline of events regarding Bottas’ discussions with Mercedes.

The report states: ‘According to RTL information, official talks between Bottas and Wolff are to take place during the French race this weekend, with the final decision to be made after the second race in Austria (4 July) to give Bottas enough time to look for a new cockpit.’

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And Williams boss Capito is open to all possibilities and has not ruled out Russell leaving for the Mercedes seat or Bottas returning to Williams – even though he does think a potential swap would happen at the end of the season rather than during this current campaign.

“At the moment I wouldn’t rule anything out,” said Capito, as quoted by “It’s all open.

“We assume that George will be with us until the end of the season, and he would like that too. Everything else is speculation.

“We have a contract with him, which is valid. But you know that anything can be arranged if it is necessary. I have a good relationship with Toto.

“He can call me at any time.”

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