There is a “real risk” of promising young talent George Russell losing his seat at Williams to Sergio Perez next year, according to the Italian edition of Motorsport.com.
Citing its sources in the paddock, the media outlet reported that Russell “has lost the certainty” that he will still be at Williams Racing next year.
Russell’s seat is under threat as a result of Dmitry Mazepin, the father of F2 racer Nikita Mazepin, reportedly looking to buy the Haas F1 Team to give his son a seat on the Formula One grid.
Haas was looking like the most likely destination for Sergio Perez – who lost his 2021 seat at Racing Point to Sebastian Vettel – but Mazepin’s rumoured takeover means he may need to look elsewhere.
“The Mexican has thus sought a plan B, an alternative that a little surprisingly he found in Williams,” reads the report.
“In practice, Russell’s seat is anything but certain and if the team decides to focus on Perez, the English driver would have the possibility of finding himself without a steering wheel in the next World Championship.”
Williams is the most realistic option for the Mexican, particularly as they could benefit from the sponsorship dollars that would inevitably come with signing Perez.
Replacing Alex Albon at Red Bull is another potential option, but it’s not yet certain that Albon will be ditched.
And even if the Thai driver is demoted, Perez is by no means the only driver in contention for the seat, with Nico Hulkenberg being one of many drivers without a seat who would also be strongly interested in joining Red Bull.
At this point, it should be noted that Haas have flatly said “the team isn’t for sale” – though team principal Guenther Steiner admitted to meeting Dmitry Mazepin at the Russian Grand Prix – so Perez may end up joining Haas while Russell retains his seat at Williams.
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