Toto Wolff has revealed that he was pretty relaxed earlier this year when rumours began to surface about the possibility of George Russell losing his seat with Williams Racing for 2021.
With Sergio Pérez a free agent following his release from the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team, rumours arose prior to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that the Mexican would replace Russell at Williams next season.
However, these rumours were soon put to bed as Russell’s place at the Grove-based team was confirmed for next season alongside Nicholas Latifi. This means the former GP3 Series and FIA Formula 2 Champion will see out his three-year contract with Williams in 2021.
Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and the Team Principal of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, says that had Williams opted to drop Russell, they would have found an additional programme for him to run alongside a role as Mercedes reserve next season.
Russell remain a protégé of Mercedes-Benz, and although in the end there were no truth to the Pérez rumours, Wolff says that there was little point in worrying about what may have happened had Williams opted for the Mexican.
“I’m always pretty relaxed about these decisions, because things come as they need to come,” said Wolff to Motorsport.com. “If George wouldn’t have been in Williams, that would have been a little bit annoying.
“But I guess he would have been a very strong reserve with us, and we would have found an additional programme for him. At the end, I’m happy that they decided in favour of him. I think he deserves it, his performances are outstanding. I think they made a good choice.”