There have been rumours for some time that Valtteri Bottas will be replaced by Russell at the Mercedes team. Both De Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne are named as replacements for Russell at Williams. Both drivers drive for the Formula E factory team of Mercedes.
Mercedes wants De Vries in the Williams
The Italian branch of Motorsport.com now reports that Mercedes would have decided internally that the Dutchman is the top candidate for the seat at Williams. Mercedes would like to see one of their junior drivers in the Williams to develop further, as was the case with Russell. De Vries has proven himself in Formula E and as a simulator driver for Mercedes.
In 2019, De Vries won the title in Formula 2, but he never got a chance in F1. Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat were also already mentioned as possible replacements for Russell, but De Vries now seems to be the top candidate. This would also explain the talks between Alfa Romeo and Bottas. For now, the Dutchman is still busy in Formula E, where he currently leads the championship.