Acting Williams team principal Simon Roberts has confirmed that George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will continue with the team for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Despite holding a valid contract for next year and Williams previously confirming an unchanged driver line-up for 2021, Russell’s future had been the subject of intense speculation after it emerged that Sergio Perez was a shock contender for the British outfit.

Rumours ramped up at the Portuguese Grand Prix when Roberts refused to take the opportunity to confirm both drivers for next season, but ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, he moved to clear up the “confusion” in a bid to end the speculation over Russell’s future.

“I probably caused a bit of confusion last week,” Roberts said. “I’m sorry about that. We didn’t really want to comment on the driver position.

“As George said Claire made the announcement earlier this year and nothing’s changed. This is our driver line-up for this year and next year. We’re very happy with them and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”

Russell had previously insisted that he was confident that his contract was watertight and that he would remain with Williams for 2021.

The confirmation from Williams means that just four teams - Haas, AlphaTauri, Red Bull and Mercedes - are yet to announce their full driver line-ups for 2021.

With Williams no longer an option for Perez, the Mexican is understood to be pursuing the second seat at Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen.

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Red Bull is yet to firm up its driver plans for 2021 but has stressed that its intention is to keep Albon, who is under increasing pressure to secure his position due to his inconsistent run of results throughout 2020.

 

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