However, according to reports, Williams are looking beyond Bottas to find a replacement for Russell.
Russell has been ‘on loan’ to Williams for a period of three years and now looks forward to driving alongside Lewis Hamilton with the Silver Arrows.
Two names apart from Bottas
There has been some appeal for Valtteri Bottas to join Williams – the only other team he has driven for in the past.
However, Formula1.com reporter and interviewer Lawrence Barretto thinks that Williams have more than one name for their driver list if they were to lose Russell.
Hulkenberg had his first season with Williams back in 2010. However, he was dropped and replaced with Pastor Maldonado the following year.
Gasly a prominent choice too
Based on mere speculations, Barretto also suggests that Pierre Gasly could be a potential name if he were to become “a free agent”.
However, the chance of that happening are pretty low considering there is no reason for AlphaTauri to not keep him.
He will have to engineer an exit from Red Bull on his own in order to step out of the team.
Additional drivers who might make the cut
Barretto said that Dan Ticktum, a member of the Williams academy, was initially considered but was ultimately dropped.
Additionally, leading F2 contenders are also potential drivers for the team – Guanyu Zhou and Oscar Piastri with Alpine; Robert Shwartzman with Ferrari; Juri Vips, Liam Lawson and Jehan Daruvala with Red Bull; and Theo Pourchaire with Sauber.
Barretto also added that Russell’s current teammate, Nicholas Latifi might continue with Williams despite a difficult performance.
Williams CEO offers his two cents
Williams CEO and team principal Jost Capito is under the impression that the outfit is slowly becoming an appealing option for drivers.
This comes after Russell started the Austrian Grand Prix eighth on the grid.
“We are seeing more and more interest of drivers to join Williams in the future,” said Capito.
“They see there is proper financial backing and that the team is willing to move forward and attract drivers as well. So I think the longer we wait, the better situation we will be in,” he concluded.
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