Russell blames Perez for Williams rumours, has Wolff guarantee for 2021

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George Russell claims Sergio Perez's backers are those pushing rumours of him joining Williams in 2021.

After the Eifel Grand Prix, reports began to emerge that the new owners at Williams, Dorilton Capital, were attracted to the Mexican due to his all-round package of skill, experience and hefty financial backing.

However, at Portimao, Russell maintained nothing had changed after being confirmed at the Grove-based squad for next year back in July.

Then, asked post-race by The Race if there had been any update during the weekend, Russell again was defiant.

"I try and do my talking on the track and, as I said before, I am not concerned for next year. I know Mercedes and Toto [Wolff] have my back, Toto himself has told me that, which I absolutely trust," he replied.

“I think all of this speculation has probably been fed by the Perez camp, who are trying to apply pressure on other teams, potentially [for] a Red Bull seat – so that’s my view on it.

“I’ve got a contract, I’ve got nothing to worry about and I’m just here focusing on my job.”

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Further questions over Russell's future were raised when the chairman of Dorilton Capital, Matthew Savage, was seen in Portugal last weekend.

However, after talking to Savage, the Briton says he got reassurances over his 2021 seat.

“Yes, they have been here, I spoke with them and they said ‘don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine’," he said.

“We had a small chat about it and moved on to talk about the rest of this year moving into next year and how we’re going to push the team further forward, which is enough for me.”

Mercedes boss Wolff had already indicated the ball was in Williams' court over Russell and suggested, if he was dropped, next year would be used as preparation for a 2022 seat at the current world champions.

But: “No, we’ve not talked about a fallback,” George insisted. “He [Wolff]’s just said ‘listen, I’ve got your back, you’ll be on the grid next year, don’t worry’.

“There’s obviously a lot of speculation and I think it has been fed from other people. Everything will be fine and 100% clarified from the team’s perspective probably no later than at the end of next week.”

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As for the race itself on Sunday, Russell rued the lack of attrition as he came home 14th in one of his strongest races yet in F1.

“It was a good race,” he said. “The car felt great, the pace was good. I had some massive moments when I was behind Ocon when I was trying to overtake him and Alex [Albon].

"I had another behind Giovinazzi later in the race when I tried to overtake him into Turn 3.

“It’s just bloody typical every time we have a good result there’s not this crazy, chaotic race,” Russell added. "We’ve yet to score a point this year but the races we do great - Silverstone finished 12th, another race we finished 11th.

“Today, we finished 14th but 19 people finished and you don’t have five retirements of drivers that are in the top ten. It will come but plenty of positives to take.”