Russell: 'I'll be on the grid next year with Williams'

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George Russell says he is "not concerned" by rumors that he could lose his drive with Williams to Sergio Perez, insisting he will be racing with the British outfit in 2021.

Speculation about Russell's future at Williams emerged in the wake of stories placing Perez and the Mexican's personal sponsors at the Grove-based team next season.

Russell and teammate Nicholas Latifi were contracted to Williams for 2021 earlier this year by Claire Williams. But it is believed the team's recent change of ownership may have invalidated those contracts, paving the way for Williams to seal a deal with Perez and the Mexican's benefactors.

However, in Portimão on Thursday, a confident Russell insisted his contract with Williams remained, in his view, valid for 2021, although he admitted he had not discussed his situation with the team's owners, Dorilton capital.

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

"I've actually not spoken to the new owners about it, because from my side, there are no concerns.

"They'll all be here this weekend. I'm sure any air will be cleared, but I am not concerned. I will be on the grid next year with Williams."

As a Mercedes protégé, Russell said he would rely on the latter's advice should his contract with Williams be called into question.

"I guess in the coming weeks, if there were to be any reasons to worry, I'm in contact with the guys at Mercedes weekly," Russell said.

"We're always staying in touch. I feel in a 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, I'll be speaking to them, but right here, right now, I've got no reason to be concerned."

Russell said the speculation surrounding the drivers' market was understandable given the number of free agents seeking a seat for next season.

"It's understandable there is speculation, because there are so many great drivers who are available fighting for a place right now with Sergio, both the Haas guys, [Nico] Hulkenberg as well," Russell said.

"So there's obviously going to the speculation. Unfortunately in Formula 1, there isn't enough place for everybody who necessarily deserves to be here."

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