Williams fails to back-up Russell over Perez rumours

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An attempt by Williams interim boss Simon Roberts to calm speculation over their 2021 drivers has only managed the exact opposite.

On Thursday, George Russell insisted "nothing had changed" over his contract for next season, despite rumours emerging last week linking Sergio Perez to his seat.

Speaking at the Team Principal's press conference on Friday at Portimao, Roberts was asked if he could confirm that was indeed the case...

“I’m not going to say anything about either of our drivers, they are both doing a great job," he was quoted by Crash.net.

“There’s so much speculation around, I don’t want to inadvertently fuel it. We’re happy, let’s watch the rest of the market."

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The uncertainty stems from Dorliton Capital's takeover of Williams' back in August and whether the contracts of Russell and Nicholas Latifi are still valid under the new owners.

This as chairman Matthew Savage is present at Portimao and was seen watching the cars trackside during practice on Friday.

“Dorilton bought the team, nothing changed with regard to the drivers," Roberts continued.

“There’s just so much speculation, rumours, it’s crazy. It’s silly season, after all. We’re not saying any more than that.”

Roberts Williams

Asked if he could categorically rule out signing Perez, however.

“Possibly, but we just don’t want to say anything one way or another. We’re here focusing on our race weekend. We haven’t got any news," he replied.

“The decision will be made by the management committee and the board of Williams Formula 1, it’s a very normal situation but we have nothing to say on that matter right now.”