George Russell has confirmed he will stay at Williams in 2021, with Mercedes set to retain Valtteri Bottas for a further season.
Mercedes has helped young drivers Russell and Esteban Ocon into Formula 1, with Russell now in his second season at Williams and Ocon at Renault. Both are seen as potential future Mercedes drivers but the senior team has enjoyed great success with Bottas alongside six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, and with that pairing set to continue Russell says he will be staying at Williams for the final year of his contract.
“I will be staying with Williams for 2021,” Russell said. “I signed a three-year deal with Williams and I’ll be staying there for 2021 to build off last year and hopefully what this year hopefully turns out to be.
“I’m not disappointed in Mercedes at all; there was nothing more they could do. Claire (Williams) was very firm with her decision that she was not ready to let me go, and ultimately as I have a contract with Williams I have to respect that decision. I’m here and I will be giving everything I have this year and next year and let’s see what the future holds after that.”
Williams’ future is uncertain as it has publicly stated it is open to a full sale of the racing team, but Russell adds he feels secure despite that backdrop.
“From my side I have no concerns — following strategic review and what might happen in the future, I am comfortable. My position is stable, so no concerns from my side.”
Teammate Nicholas Latifi says he also has a contract for next season that he expects to fulfill, regardless of whether the team is sold or not.
“Really just echoing what George said, I have a contract, so whether the ownership or anything changes for next year I should not really be affected,” Latifi said. “So just focusing on my job and we will see what happens.
“I have a multi-year deal with the team, so yes, I will be with the team in 2021.”