Last week, there were increasingly strong rumours that Williams was to make way for a driver with more financial backing
George Russell says he has “no concerns” over his position on the 2021 Formula 1 grid with Williams amid speculation linking Sergio Perez to the team.
Mercedes-backed Russell joined Williams on a multi-year deal in 2019 and in July it was confirmed his option for 2021 had been activated by the team.
Williams was then sold by the family to the US-based firm Dorilton Capital in August.
At that stage Sergio Perez’s future was with Racing Point, having penned a three-year deal in 2019, but the team opted to sign Sebastian Vettel for 2021 at the Mexican’s expense.
Perez has since indicated his desire to remain in Formula 1 but it is believed potential avenues at Alfa Romeo and Haas have not materialised.
It is understood that Williams’ new owners have explored the possibility of bringing in Perez at the expense of Russell.
Perez has a wealth of experience, having started 185 races, and has racked up eight podium finishes despite never being equipped with front-running machinery.
Perez would also potentially bring commercial backing as his previous deals with Force India/Racing Point were linked to a group of sponsors.
Nicholas Latifi was also confirmed for 2021 in July and the Canadian, who brings financial backing to Williams, is not understood to be at risk of losing his seat.
But ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix Russell emphasised that he will be staying at Williams in 2021 and that speculation linking Perez to the squad is inaccurate.
“I have a contract for next year and with the new owners coming in nothing has changed whatsoever from a contractual perspective under the new ownership,” said Russell.
“I’ve actually not spoken to the new owners about it because from my side there’s no concerns,.
“They’ll all be here this weekend and I’m sure any air will be cleared but I am not concerned that I will be on the grid next year with Williams.
“There’s always speculation, I guess the media like to build a lot up, it’s understandable there’s speculation because there’s so many great drivers who are available fighting for a place on the grid right now.
“[There is] Sergio, both Haas guys, [Nico] Hulkenberg as well, there’s always going to be speculation, unfortunately in Formula 1 there isn’t going to be a place for everyone who deserves to be here.”
RUSSELL, AMID PEREZ RUMOURS : I’LL BE ON THE GRID NEXT YEAR WITH WILLIAMS RUSSELL, AMID PEREZ RUMOURS : I’LL BE ON THE GRID NEXT YEAR WITH WILLIAMS
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|12:00 - 13:30||Free practice 1|
|16:00 - 17:30||Free practice 2|
|12:00 - 13:00||Free practice 3|
|15:10 - 17:10||Race|