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Russell, Perez, Gasly, Ocon fire up 'silly season'

Russell, Perez, Gasly, Ocon fire up 'silly season'
© Reuters
The extraordinary 2021 'silly season' continues apace, with rumours about driver movements running rampant in the Portimao paddock.

The extraordinary 2021 'silly season' continues apace, with rumours about driver movements running rampant in the Portimao paddock.

Acting Williams boss Simon Roberts did his best to quell speculation that George Russell could be about to lose his seat - but in the process only ramped it up.

"There's so much speculation around I don't want to inadvertently fuel it. Someone will take some nuance from whatever we say. We're happy," he said.

"Let's watch the rest of the market."

The big rumour is that Sergio Perez, on the lookout for a new seat along with his powerful Mexican backers, could oust the talented Mercedes-backed Russell.

"This is Williams' decision," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said on Friday.

"There are financial realities but Williams has new owners and it's up to them what they want to do."

Another new rumour is that Pierre Gasly, earlier named as Alpha Tauri's obvious top driver for 2021, may now escape the Red Bull program to replace French countryman Esteban Ocon at Renault.

"I'm a Red Bull driver," Gasly insists. "Helmut Marko is the one who makes the driver decisions together with Dietrich Mateschitz and a few others.

"I am not involved in any discussions," he added, amid speculation he may be part of a Red Bull-Renault engine deal for 2022.

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George Russell pictured on August 28, 2020
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