George Russell insists he will be on the Formula 1 grid next year with Williams as he dismissed speculation that his position within the team could be under threat.

Despite an announcement earlier this year that Russell would be remaining alongside Nicholas Latifi at Williams for 2021, reports suggest that free agent Sergio Perez has emerged as a surprise candidate at the team which is now under new ownership from Dorilton Capital.

Addressing the media on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, Russell stressed the change of ownership will not have any bearing on his future.

“I have a contract for next year and with the new owners coming in nothing has changed whatsoever from a contractual perspective under the new ownership,” Russell said.

“I’ve actually not spoken to the new owners about it because from my side there’s no concerns. They’ll all be here this weekend and I’m sure any air will be cleared, but I am not concerned and I will be on the grid next year with Williams.

“There’s obviously always speculation,” Russell added. “I guess the media like to build a lot up.

“It’s understandable there’s speculation because there’s so many great drivers who are available fighting for a place on the grid now with Sergio [Perez], both the Haas guys, [Nico] Hulkenberg as well. So there’s always going to be speculation.

“Unfortunately in Formula 1 there isn’t necessarily always space for everyone who deserves to be here.”

Russell, who is a Mercedes junior, said he would discuss the matter with the German manufacturer should he feel that his position is becoming threatened.

“I’m in contact with the guys at Mercedes weekly, we’re always staying in touch,” the Briton explained. “I feel in really privileged position to have their full support behind me and long-term I think I’m in a great position.

“If it really comes to that obviously I’ll be speaking to them but sitting here right now I have no reason to be concerned.”

Russell’s teammate Latifi said he is also convinced that his seat at the British outfit is secure.

“Like George said, we have a contract and just because the team is under new ownership now doesn’t really change anything on that front so I’m not concerned at all,” he added.

“I have a contract with the team for next year and I’m confident I’m going to be on the grid next year.”

 

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