Acting Williams team principal Simon Roberts has remained tight-lipped on the look of the team’s driver line-up for 2021, refusing to confirm if either George Russell or Nicholas Latifi will stay.
Williams announced both Russell and Latifi would be retained for next year back in July, two months before Dorilton Capital acquired control of the team.
But with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez a free agent after being replaced by Sebastian Vettel for 2021, speculation has emerged that the Mexican may be talking to Williams over a drive for next season.
Russell has brushed off any concerns regarding his future at the Grove-based outfit, insisting he has a contract in place.
Speaking on Friday ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, Roberts said, as quoted by Motorsport.com: “There’s lot of speculation, there’s lots of good drivers around that are now looking for seats.
“Dorilton bought the team, and nothing changed. I can’t say any more than that.”
But when asked if he could confirm Russell and Latifi would be Williams drivers next year, Roberts replied: “I’m not going to say anything about either of our drivers. They’ve both done a great job. There’s so much speculation around.
“I don’t want to inadvertently fuel it. Someone will take some nuance of what I say, so we’re happy. Let’s watch the rest of the market.
“I’m just not going to talk about it. Dorilton bought the team, nothing changed with regards to the drivers.
“There’s just so much speculation and rumour, it’s crazy. It’s silly season after all. We’re not saying any more than that.”
Asked if he could rule out signing Perez, Roberts said: “Possibly, but we just don’t want to say anything, one way or another.
“We’re here focusing on a race weekend. We haven’t got any news. Gunther [Steiner] is here, he has got some news. We’ve got plenty on this morning.
“We’re running lots of parts in FP1 and we’ve got to get through all of that and get our drivers in the best possible place for Saturday and Sunday.”
Reports suggest that if Williams was to change its driver line-up, Russell would make way as Latifi brings significant backing and sponsorship to the team.
Perez, who has 185 grand prix starts to his name, is known to also have sizeable backing from his Mexican sponsors.