Risk of late call on 2022 drivers not a concern for Williams

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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Williams team principal Jost Capito is not concerned by the possibility a decision on its driver line-up for next year will not be possible until late into the season.

George Russell, who is in his third season at the team, is a Mercedes junior driver. The world champions are known to be considering whether to promote him to the team for the 2022 F1 season.

Nicholas Latifi is on a multi-year deal at Williams which could carry him into next year. But he said yesterday his future is not yet under discussion.

Williams risks being left searching for drivers late in the year if Mercedes makes a late decision to appoint Russell. But Capito said he’s “not really bothered” about that possibility.

“I think that in the moment we as a team, we are moving on quite well and the changes seem to work pretty well that we have done,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“George is very happy. He focuses on driving this season, and I see more and more interest of drivers to drive for Williams in the future, as they see there is a proper financial backing.

“They see that the team is really willing to move forward and attract the drivers as well. So I think the longer we wait, the better situation we will be.”

Last year the team was sold by the Williams family to Dorilton Capital. Despite securing the future of the outfit and overseeing significant performance gains there have been no points finishes for a Williams driver since Robert Kubica finished 10th in the 2019 German Grand Prix.

The team’s driver roster also includes reserve Jack Aitken, who debuted as Russell’s substitute in last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix. Its junior team also include Formula 2 pair Roy Nissany and Dan Ticktum, and W Series champion Jamie Chadwick.

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2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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5 comments on “Risk of late call on 2022 drivers not a concern for Williams”

  1. It’s very difficult to replace Russell, but personally I’d assume he is leaving. Taking on someone like Albon (possibly on loan from Red Bull) or would be my choice. I don’t think Williams has the pull at the moment to attract Gasly or Perez or someone of that ilk and even Hulkenberg would probably be unwilling to take the chance. I don’t think any of Aitken, Nissany, Ticktum or Chadwick are good enough and taking on totally inexperienced drivers could harm the team’s development at a time that they seem to be moving forward.

    Albon & Latifi (who appears to be staying) seems like a fairly decent, hungry line-up to me. If they could somehow manage Albon & Hulkenberg (or possibly Kvyat), that would be even better.

    1. @ben-n yes Albon, Hulkenberg and Kvyat are all very solid options but I imagine are all rather expensive options.

    2. @ben-n Why not just swap with Bottas

      1. That would be great for Williams and I think he’d be by far the best choice, but I’m unsure if Bottas would fancy it. Maybe he would, who knows?

  2. Capito has already said he wants a proven race winner from a championship contending team. And as someone else pointed out Bottas was of interest to Alpine last year. Maybe Ocon decided to get his future sorted as soon as possible before a certain Mercedes driver came onto the market?
    So I see Bottas as the lead driver at Williams who have the money and the desire to move up the grid. Seems like a good fit.

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