'I understand there are several drivers on the shortlist'

11-07-2021 14:55 | Updated: 12-07-2021 09:03
F1 News
'I understand there are several drivers on the shortlist'

Most teams have already finalised their line-up for 2022 and there are a few teams who haven't yet, so there will be no surprises. The biggest question in the current silly season is who will drive for Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton; George Russell or Valtteri Bottas?

Williams waits for Mercedes

What it will look like at Williams in 2022 will also depend on Mercedes' choice, says Lawrence Barretto on the official website of Formula 1. If Mercedes keeps the current driver duo, Russell will undoubtedly stay with Williams for another year. There seem to be no better options for the young Briton.

Should Russell still get his contract with Mercedes, Barretto does see a great opportunity for Wiliams. "Could Bottas then go in the other direction? The Finn might decide that a move back to the team where it all started for him in 2013 is sufficiently enticing and motivating. His experience would be hugely useful to the team at this point in their rebuild and as a now proven race winner, his presence will be a huge motivator. He will also be keen to prove doubters wrong and already has a strong rapport with the majority of the staff."

Other options for Williams

"I understand there are several other drivers on the shortlist under Bottas," Barretto continued, listing the options for Williams. These would include former Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg and Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat as good possibilities. "Pierre Gasly would also be interesting, should Red Bull decide not to promote him back to the factory team or keep him at AlphaTauri."

Dan Ticktum (part of the Williams academy) and Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou are also mentioned, but seem unlikely options. And then, of course, there's Russell's current teammate. "Nicholas Latifi has adapted very well at Williams, and although he has struggled compared to Russell, a third season is a very real possibility."

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