Williams keeping its options open on 2022 driver decision

Williams keeping its options open on 2022 driver decision

Williams CEO and team principal Jost Capito says Alex Albon and Nick de Vries are not the only options the team has to replace George Russell.

Russell is expected to replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for next season, bringing an end to his three-year stint at Williams and opening up a vacancy. While Bottas is believed to have chosen Alfa Romeo over a return to his former team, Capito said that there is no urgency from his side to settle on a new driver.

“We have no time pressure at all in sorting out our drivers,” Capito said. “Some others have higher pressures to sort out drivers than we have. At the moment, there has not been an announcement with George, so we will see what options we have in the future. We have some options and we are sorting them out.

“This is a normal business. It is like this every year when you have to have contract negotiations. There are always a couple of variants or different interests, but we will go for what is in our best interests, what is best for us and what we believe is the best solution. At the moment we have options and let’s say none of them are bad options, so we are quite relaxed about the situation.”

Capito said that Williams’ options range from a rookie such as de Vries to a young driver looking for a second chance like Albon, as well as more experienced names. Nico Hulkenberg is among those to have had talks with the team.

“It’s not just Alex, there are a couple of drivers who are attractive and can bring something to the team,” he said. “You have different views (about what) you can have for next year. There’s nothing right or wrong. You can have a driver with F1 experience, that is never negative, it’s always positive.

“But also for next year – as the cars are new and everybody has to learn to drive these new cars – you can bring a newcomer and a rookie in, because the gap is smaller as everybody has to get their head around driving a different car. It’s like driving in a different category. So it’s also an opportunity to bring someone new into F1 with the lowest risk. We’ll see how it turns out and what the interests are. I think we’ve got various good options.

“There are others as well with Formula 1 experience and there are other young drivers who are really pushing hard to get into F1. It’s not just those two (Albon and de Vries), there are much wider options.”

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