Rumours Sergio Perez could be heading to Williams have been started by the Mexican to put pressure on Red Bull to sign him, says George Russell.
Reportedly in-line to lose his seat should Perez make the switch to Williams, Russell was asked directly about the rumours over the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend.
“Nothing’s changed,” he told The Race. “I try and do my talking on the track and, as I said before, I am not concerned for next year. I know Mercedes and Toto [Wolff] have my back, Toto himself has told me that, which I absolutely trust.
“I think all of this speculation has probably been fed by the Perez camp, who are trying to apply pressure on other teams, potentially [for] a Red Bull seat – so that’s my view on it.
“I’ve got a contract, I’ve got nothing to worry about and I’m just here focusing on my job.”
Adding fuel to the fire was acting team principal Simon Roberts’ evasive responses to reporters’ questions about the Perez rumours on Friday, but Russell insists that he and the team are on the same page.
“Yeah, they have said they have no idea where these rumours have come from. They never like to comment on contractual situations, obviously following Simon’s press conference on Friday, things again were taken probably slightly out of context, which is what the team didn’t want to do.
“Ultimately, the team didn’t want to comment on it because they felt it isn’t necessary and it’s just opening themselves up to further queries later down the line.
“But like I said, I’ve got a contract and I’ll be on the grid next year and I’m very confident of that. I think something pretty substantial would have to happen in the coming weeks for it to change.”
Additionally, Russell revealed that he discussed the matter with Williams’ new owners Dorilton Capital in Portugal.
“Yes, they have been here, I spoke with them,” he confirmed. “They said ‘don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine’.
“We had a small chat about it and moved on to talk about the rest of this year moving into next year and how we’re going to push the team further forward, which is enough for me.”