“I Don’t Have to Name a Name” – Williams F1 Team Principal Leaves Russell’s Seat Open to Speculation

Published 08/23/2021, 10:24 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra


The Mercedes second seat conversation has been around for a while now. Will Bottas retain his seat or will George Russell get in the way? While Mercedes team Principal Toto Wolff has announced that he will make his decision known in September, the Williams boss had a lot to say.

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Jost Capito made a few statements in recent interviews, and they paved the way for some heavy speculation. It seemed like what he said shadowed a lot of information. Capito discussed Russell’s possible move to the Brackley team, sayingm “It is not certain whether Russell will really go to Mercedes.”

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Williams’ George Russell before the race Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga

What Capito could have framed as “Russell is not leaving Williams,” his choice of words have been interesting. Does he imply that Russell has already made his exit from the team?

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If the Briton is not a Williams driver in 2022, who will get the seat?

Capito hinted at that as well. “When I say that I have spoken to everyone who does not have a contract but would like one, I don’t have to name a name.”

He made the statement referring to Nico Hulkenberg. The Hulk’s name has been around the drivers’ market, but once again, the Williams boss left a lot of questions answered.

Nico Hulkenberg’s return to F1?

The former Renault driver has had a lot of experience with the sport. The 31-year-old could even provide insights into the development of the new 2022 car. He is infamous for never having won an F1 race, but he may finally find his chance in the Williams.

Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Fans display a banner in reference to Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg before the race Pool via REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

Although, he may also have an option with Alfa Romeo; could this be the return of an F1 favorite? Hulkenberg is reliant and may also be quick to adapt to the new car; having been a sub for Racing Point with an excellent drive.

Other candidates on Williams’ list

In a possible barter scenario, Valtteri Bottas could be demoted to the Mercedes sister team. While not an ideal option for the Finn, it would be unlikely to see him walk away from the sport instead.

Daniil Kvyat could make his return to the grid with the Grove outfit. The former Toro Rosso driver would be keen to make a return to the grid to prove himself to the Red Bull teams.

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Guanyu Zhou would be making his F1 debut if he gets picked by Williams. Although lacking the experience the team might want, the F2 driver has good speed and has had an impressive F2 season so far.

A new race winner, Alex Albon, has been an option for the Grove team. A lot left to give to the sport; the Thai driver has been a good reserve driver for Red Bull as well. He may not be the most popular option but could be a possibility, nonetheless.

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First, we wait for Toto Wolff, then we see the consequential effects of the Mercedes decision.

Watch this story: Top 5 Williams F1 Liveries of All-Time

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Shreya Sanjeev

335 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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