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Mercedes can’t help Russell in fight for Williams seat - Wolff

Mercedes can’t help Russell in fight for Williams seat - Wolff

F1 News

Mercedes can’t help Russell in fight for Williams seat - Wolff

Mercedes can’t help Russell in fight for Williams seat - Wolff
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has conceded there is nothing he can do to protect protégé George Russell’s seat at Williams for next season.

Despite a contract with Williams for 2021, Russell’s future has been called into question, with speculation Sergio Perez is poised to take up the Briton's seat.

Acting team principal Simon Roberts fuelled the fire by refusing to confirm new owners Dorilton, who took over the team in August, will honour his contract.

The British driver, who has been ‘placed’ at Williams by Mercedes who supply power units to the team, said he would speak to Wolff if he had any reason to worry. But it appears Mercedes will not offer any help to Russell after Wolff revealed: “We touched base [with Williams] about George but at the end, it’s their call. At the end, it is Williams’ decision.

“We all know about George’s capabilities. He is a star of the future and remains unbeaten by his team-mates in Formula One. Sometimes he is able to show highlights in a car that is not competitive at the moment.

“I think he is a great team asset. But then obviously there is a financial reality that I cannot judge at all and it’s absolutely the discretion of the new owners and Simon to decide what they want to do going forward.”

Russell, along with Canadian team-mate Nicolas Latifi, extended his contract into 2021 in July prior to the team’s sale, but it is not clear as to where he stands if the new owners decide they want to seek a driver with greater financial support.

Perez, released by Racing Point - which is to become Aston Martin next year - in favour of Sebastian Vettel, brings with him significant backing from Mexico.

Asked about his future, this week Perez said: “I haven’t signed anything [but] the season is coming to an end, so it is getting close, and I should be in a position to say something really soon, I think.

“There are not many teams out there, actually very few. It is not like a number. It’s choosing something with a good project, something that really puts me into that project - I am willing to be in a project.”

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