Last week, the Italian edition of Motorsport.com reported that there was a “real risk” of George Russell losing his seat at Williams to Sergio Perez next season.
And now, a source has told Formula1News.co.uk that the move will go ahead and will be confirmed towards the end of the season.
“The new owners of Williams want to have two pay drivers in the team to give them the best chance of having a good car in 2022.
“They obviously know that George [Russell] is a stronger driver than Nicholas Latifi, but they believe that the improvements they can make to the car as a result of the additional money [from Perez and Latifi] will offset the difference in driver performance,” the source added.
On Monday, Williams told Formula1News.co.uk managing editor Suliman Mulhem that they “have no comment to add on the rumours” about Sergio Perez replacing Russell at the team next season.
Dmitry Mazepin’s rumoured takeover of the Haas F1 Team is the source of the uncertainty over Russell’s future at Williams, as the Russian billionaire will almost certainly sign his son, Nikita Mazepin, should he acquire the team.
Sergio Perez is currently favourite to join Haas, but the Mexican would likely have to look elsewhere if Mazepin were to buy the team.
Williams would then be the most likely destination for him, as he has the financial backing of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and the ailing Grove-based team could benefit greatly from the extra sponsorship dollars that would inevitably come with signing Perez.
It should be noted that Haas told this publication earlier this month that “the team isn’t for sale”, rubbishing claims that Dmitry Mazepin is set to buy the American racing outfit.