The Williams Formula 1 team is not anticipating any driver line-up changes before the Russian Grand Prix at the end of September.

Following Lawrence Stroll’s takeover of the rebranded Force India squad, the Canadian businessman’s son, Lance Stroll has been linked with a mid-season switch from Williams to the Silverstone-based outfit.

That could open the door for a sensational return to grand prix racing for Robert Kubica, who would be favourite to fill Stroll’s vacant seat due to his role as Williams reserve driver.

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Esteban Ocon would be the driver likely to lose out, with backers Mercedes working to ensure the Frenchman would remain on the grid this year – possibly with McLaren – should such a situation occur.

But deputy team principal Claire Williams has played down reports of switches as soon as the next race in Singapore.

"I don't think it's going to happen quickly," Williams told Sky Sports F1. "There are quite a lot of hoops that we've all still got to jump through around the [Force India] sale in particular.

"Once that's happened I think then things will start moving. I don't think we'll see a change before Singapore certainly."

When asked when changes would be likely to happen, she replied: "I don't know, maybe around Russia, Austin, something like that. I think we just have to wait and see. It's a real moving target at the moment."

Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer agreed with Williams and stressed the team is keen to retain its current line-up at Singapore with scoring regular points finishes its short-term priority.

The team is also expecting to be boosted at the upcoming race by a major upgrade package, which had previously been delayed amid its off-track financial struggles.

When asked by Sky F1 if he expected any changes before Singapore, Szafnauer replied: "I don't think so. We've got to look to see what we're going to do next year, we've got a lot of points yet to score this year.

"I think we're ninth now and we've got our sights set to be a little bit higher so we've got to focus on that. We'll worry about drivers at a later date.

"It was our biggest points haul of the year, 18 points in Spa, and we need to get some good points here as well,” he added.

"Hopefully this track suits us too, and then we've got a big upgrade coming in Singapore. We've got to focus on what we do best, which is going racing."

 

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