Williams to Break Partnership with Mercedes and Become an Alpine F1 Customer: REPORTS

Published 02/24/2021, 6:00 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 04: Esteban Ocon of France driving the Renault Sport Formula One Team RS19 during day two of F1 End of Season Testing in Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)


Williams and Mercedes have had a stable partnership in Formula 1. The Brackley squad provides their power unit to their fellow British team and has also loaned their junior driver, George Russell, to the latter’s current drivers’ line up.

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However, A report suggests that this alliance could come to a termination by the end of 2022. The Grove outfit might switch to Alpine F1 for their engine needs. This change could have multiple repercussions on the F1 grid.
“[Renault] also aspires for Grove’s team to become their junior or B team. In this way, they could raise young drivers from their academy to Formula 1, such as Christian. Lundgaard or Guanyu Zhou.”

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – DECEMBER 05: Jack Aitken of Great Britain driving the Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit on December 05, 2020 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Giuseppe Cacace – Pool/Getty Images)
“At the moment, they have no place at Alpine, as the team has Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon and they plan to continue that for a few more seasons,” stated the report. Alpine F1 team currently has no customer team as McLaren has moved to Mercedes for 2021.
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How does a potential Alpine and Williams partnership impact the grid?

The primary impact as discussed earlier is the change in customer teams. However, the change will also have a consequence that goes beyond the change of client teams. If the change comes through, Mercedes will have to decide on George Russell sooner than later.
“It should be remembered that George Russell, driver of the Brackley academy, will begin his third season with the Grove team in the absence of a free seat in the current champion.”
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IMOLA, ITALY: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
“Thus, they would face the possibility of having to make important decisions about their driver line-up perhaps sooner than they planned,” explained the report.

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Towards the end of 2021, Mercedes will have three empty seats and three primary drivers, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, and George Russell to choose from. The Williams driver’s three-year contract will end after this season.
Russell is pegged as the next Mercedes superstar and if they lose their partnership with Williams, the decision of whom to sign for 2021 could get much more difficult for the Brackley squad.

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Renault is more likely to push their young drivers, and Mercedes will not have a backup seat for Russell. If the change were to happen, who do you think Mercedes will sign and what will happen to the third driver?

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Ayush Manjunath

576 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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