With Valtteri Bottas rebuffed, Mercedes hatches a George Russell replacement plan for Williams.
Mercedes has devised a strategy to replace George Russell in the Williams team. Rumors are circulating that the British driver will take Bottas’ spot at Mercedes.
Nyck de Vries, a Mercedes Formula E driver, could be lining up to take George Russell’s spot at Williams.
According to rumors, if the 23-year-old leaves the British team, the reigning constructors’ champions regard the Dutchman as a perfect successor.
Russell is expected to replace Bottas at Mercedes to drive alongside Lewis Hamilton, and there has been discussion of a clean swap, with the Finnish driver returning to his old team.
According to reports from Motorsport.com’s Italian branch, the 2019 Formula 2 champion is the current lead runner.
“Mercedes wants to keep a position they can make available to their junior drivers (like Russell did), and the Williams seat is, in reality, the only conceivable opportunity,” they stated.
“With no young drivers ready to step up from Formula 2, Mercedes is considering offering the opportunity to one of their Formula E drivers, and De Vries appears to be the frontrunner.”
Stoffel Vandoorne, a former McLaren driver, could potentially be a goal, but de Vries, 26, has fared better this year and is younger, giving him a distinct advantage in securing an F1 position at Williams.
They aren’t Williams’ only options, though, as the source mentions a number of other drivers that are in the mix to drive for the team next season if Russell decides to go.
“Williams is considering Nico Hulkenberg, Daniil Kvyat, and Dan Ticktum as drivers,” the source stated.
“However, on paper, the Mercedes factor appears to favor De Vries, who may be the first rookie to start the 2022 World Championship.”
With only two races remaining, the Dutchman leads the Formula E championship by six points.
The championship, though, is up for grabs with only 20 points separating the top eight drivers.
If De Vries drives for Williams in Formula One next season, he will create history as the first driver to transition from Formula E to Formula One rather than vice versa.