Williams have moved to end speculation over the future of their driver line-up by confirming George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will drive for them next year.
Prior to the team’s sale, former deputy team principal Claire Williams said both drivers would be retained for 2021. However after the team was taken over by Dorilton speculation mounted that the team could move to hire Sergio Perez to replace Russell next year.
Last week acting team principal Simon Roberts declined to confirm both drivers will remain with the team next year. However today Roberts said Russell and Latifi will stay with the team for the 2021 F1 season.
“I probably caused a bit of confusion last week,” said Roberts. “I’m sorry about that.
“We didn’t really want to comment on the driver position. As George said Claire made the announcement earlier this year. Nothing’s changed and this is our driver line-up for this year and next year. We’re very happy with them and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”
Russell said “nothing has changed” in his position at the team. “It was announced obviously earlier this year. Obviously a lot of speculation is going around and as I said there’s a lot of good drivers on the market but I’ll be in the seat with Williams in 2021, that’s what I can tell you.”
The Mercedes junior believes the speculation surrounding his future at the team was prompted by parties linked to Perez, who is believed to be in line for a move to Red Bull in place of Alexander Albon next year.
“It’s always nice to have stability, it’s never nice to hear any speculation that your job is potentially up for grabs,” said Russell. “Nevertheless I was confident in what I could perform on track and ultimately I had to do the talking on track and I was confident nothing would change moving into 2021 even with all the speculation going around.
“Like I said I think a lot of the speculation was fed by other team members or teams surrounding drivers to create these issues over the last couple of weeks. So I’m definitely happy and pleased to continue on this journey.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix