Williams chief executive Jost Capito would support George Russell’s move to Mercedes for 2022 insisting the Briton is now ready to fight for the title with a top team.
As a Mercedes protégé, Russell served his apprenticeship in Formula 1 with Williams and is currently in his third season with the Grove-based outfit.
But the speculation in the paddock is swelling that Russel will replace Valtteri Bottas next season at Mercedes, a conjecture supported by recent reports that the Finn’s management had met with Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur to discuss Bottas’ potential move to the Swiss outfit for next season.
Regardless of Mercedes’ decision, Capito has offered Russell his full support and genuinely hopes the Briton will move to Brackley at the end of the season.
“I would wish that George gets the seat because he’s in the position now, in his time of career, where he can handle to be in an absolute top team and fight for the championship,” said Capito.
“And I would never hold a young driver back if he can have this type of opportunity. So I hope for him, that he gets this opportunity.
“From the team’s side, of course we would very much love to keep him, so if he goes to Mercedes and gets the offer, he gets the full support from us. If not, he gets the full support from us.
“That’s why we can easily wait for that driver decision whichever way it comes and we’ll be OK.”
As for who would eventually replace Russell at Williams, Capito suggested that his team’s short list is growing by the day!
“I think every driver who hasn’t got a fixed seat for next year or has an option for next year is talking to us at the moment,” the German said.
“It seems the Williams seat is the most aspired seat in F1 right now for a team that has to fill a seat.”