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Perez to Williams speculation ramps up

Mat Coch

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Saturday 24th October, 2020 - 3:43am

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Sergio Perez

Speculation linking Sergio Perez to Williams for the 2021 Formula 1 season has increased as the circus reaches Portugal this weekend.

Out of a drive at Racing Point come season’s end, Perez has been one of the leading players in the F1 driver market since it was confirmed he would be replaced by Sebastian Vettel.

Opportunities present themselves at Haas and Alfa Romeo, though the latter is rumoured to be closing in on continuing with its incumbent pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Perez has been linked with Williams, with the squad’s new owners now refusing to confirm either Nicholas Latifi or George Russell for next season.

Offered an opportunity ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, Williams’ Acting Team Principal, Simon Roberts, failed to hose down suggestions his driver pairing could change.

“I’m not going to say anything about either of our drivers,” Roberts said.

“They’ve both done a great job.

“There’s so much speculation around.

“I don’t want to inadvertently fuel it. Someone will take some nuance of what I say, so we’re happy. Let’s watch the rest of the market.

“I’m just not going to talk about it,” he added.

“Dorilton bought the team, nothing changed with regards to the drivers.

“There’s just so much speculation and rumour, it’s crazy. It’s silly season after all. We’re not saying any more than that.”

Perez is similarly tight lipped as he continues to work towards remaining in the sport for 2021.

“At the moment there’s not a lot that I have to report or say,” he confessed.

“The season is coming to an end so it’s getting close and I should be in a position to say something pretty soon I think.

“But up to now I don’t think there’s a lot of point in giving away anything because I also want to keep my negotiations private.

“I think we’ve got to be respectful of all the teams that we are talking to and so there’s no point to discuss anything at the moment.”

Aside from Williams, Perez has also been identified by Red Bull’s Helmut Marko as a potential replacement for Alex Albon at the operation’s senior team.

“Obviously, we are still pushing hard,” Albon said.

“I feel a lot of support from the guys and girls. On my side, it’s just focusing on the races ahead.

“I know I’ve got to do a good job but I am motivated to do that.

“In terms of pressure, there’s always pressure but nothing extra. I just want to have a good few races.

“I think actually on paper my qualifying has been improving through the year,” he added of his 2020 season.

“The races actually haven’t been too bad, just as a team but also working out the starts a bit better; the Renaults and Ferraris seem to get off the line really well.

“It’s always been a bit of catch-up and of course, just a mistake at the Nurburgring where I locked up which stopped the whole strategy for the race.

“But, as I said, things are going in the right way but I just need to firstly get off the line a bit better but also have a bit cleaner races. I am sure we will get the results.”

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