“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,” the source told this publication.
“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,” they added.
Ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix, acting Williams team principal Simon Roberts refused to comment on the constructor’s planned driver line-up for 2021.
And now, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has stressed that George Russell’s future at Williams will ultimately be decided by the Grove-based team’s new management and owners despite the British driver having ties to Mercedes.
“Sometimes he is able to show highlights in a car that is not competitive at the moment. And I think he’s a great team asset,” Wolff said when asked about Russell.
“But there’s obviously a financial reality that I cannot judge at all and it’s absolutely the judgement of the new owners and Simon [Roberts] to decide what they want to do going forward,” he added.
Wolff subsequently confirmed that he has spoken to Williams about Russell’s future at the team: “We’ve touched base about George but at the end, like I said, it’s their call.”
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