Sport Russell/Bottas swap not being ruled out by Williams

13:10  16 june  2021
13:10  16 june  2021 Source:   planetf1.com

Russell’s ‘tough love’ from Wolff after Imola crash

  Russell’s ‘tough love’ from Wolff after Imola crash George Russell has revealed he received “a lot of tough love” from Toto Wolff following his crash with Valtteri Bottas at Imola. © Getty Images Valtteri-Bottas-George-Russell-PA The Williams driver is ‘on loan’ from Mercedes for a third year and his career continues to be managed by the World Champions’ co-owner and team principal, Wolff. Given that, and the fact he is being strongly linked with a Mercedes drive from next year onwards, colliding with Bottas while trying to overtake him and putting them both out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was not a smart move.

Williams team principal, Jost Capito, has said it is “all open” with regards to the respective futures of George Russell and Valtteri Bottas.

Valtteri Bottas in a baseball game: George Russell and Valtteri Bottas © Getty Images George Russell and Valtteri Bottas

The Formula 1 rumour mill is in overdrive ahead of the French Grand Prix with numerous reports suggesting that Russell will replace Bottas at Mercedes.

Both Bottas and Russell are technically out of contract at the end of the 2021 campaign, with the Finn only signing one-year options at a time with the Silver Arrows ever since his arrival in 2017 and Russell coming to the end what has effectively been a three-year ‘loan spell’ from Mercedes to Williams.

Palmer launches scathing attack on ‘midfielder’ Bottas

  Palmer launches scathing attack on ‘midfielder’ Bottas Ex-F1 driver Jolyon Palmer has criticised Valtteri Bottas' wheel-to-wheel racing, saying the Mercedes driver never makes progress. © Getty Images Valtteri-Bottas-Baku-PA The Finn qualified a very disappointing P10 for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and failed to gain any ground in the opening stint as he remained behind the McLaren of Lando Norris. Opportunities did present themselves, in particular a standing race restart with two laps to go which triggered overtakes galore, sadly though plenty of them were on Bottas who went on to finish P12.

With Bottas well adrift in the Drivers’ Championship and not getting the results to help Mercedes stay on top in the Constructors’ battle, there is a widespread feeling that Bottas’ days at the Silver Arrows are numbered.

Meanwhile, German publication RTL are now claiming they have a timeline of events regarding Bottas’ discussions with Mercedes.

The report states: ‘According to RTL information, official talks between Bottas and Wolff are to take place during the French race this weekend, with the final decision to be made after the second race in Austria (4 July) to give Bottas enough time to look for a new cockpit.’

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And Williams boss Capito is open to all possibilities and has not ruled out Russell leaving for the Mercedes seat or Bottas returning to Williams – even though he does think a potential swap would happen at the end of the season rather than during this current campaign.

“At the moment I wouldn’t rule anything out,” said Capito, as quoted by Grandpx.news. “It’s all open.

“We assume that George will be with us until the end of the season, and he would like that too. Everything else is speculation.

“We have a contract with him, which is valid. But you know that anything can be arranged if it is necessary. I have a good relationship with Toto.

“He can call me at any time.”

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George Russell ‘will replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes' as F1 switch gets backing .
Former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer believes Valtteri Bottas' time at Mercedes has come to an end.With Lewis Hamilton seemingly confirmed for next season with the seven-time world champions, speculation has been swirling surrounding the second seat alongside the Briton, a seat currently occupied by Bottas.

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