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Williams is Bottas' 'only option' for 2022 - Marko

Williams is Bottas' 'only option' for 2022 - Marko
© Reuters
Rumours are gaining steam that George Russell is definitely set to replace Valtteri Bottas for 2022 and beyond.

Rumours are gaining steam that George Russell is definitely set to replace Valtteri Bottas for 2022 and beyond.

"We would like to keep George," new Williams team principal Jost Capito admitted to Sky Deutschland. "But we all know that Mercedes will make the decision."

Indeed, Russell is a closely Toto Wolff-aligned Mercedes junior who is expecting the call to be made "by the end of the summer break at the latest".

"My attitude is to get it all wrapped up as soon as possible. That is in everyone's best interest," the Williams driver added.

Even Mercedes' closest rival - Red Bull - thinks Russell replacing Finn Bottas, who has been on one-year contracts since 2017, is "the logical step".

"They can't hold it off any longer, otherwise the (driver) program no longer makes sense. Even if Hamilton won't be happy," Dr Helmut Marko told f1-insider.com.

It appears that the logical move for the Bottas, 31, is that he will simply trade places with 23-year-old Russell at Williams - the team Bottas entered Formula 1 with in 2013.

"Bottas doesn't need to call us," Red Bull's Marko insisted. "There is no space here.

"Actually, I can only imagine that he swaps with Russell. I think Williams will be the only option for him."

It is rumoured that Mercedes might announce Russell's impending arrival at his home race at Silverstone next month.

Esteban Ocon, meanwhile, is expected to have his Alpine contract renewal announced at his own home race this weekend at Paul Ricard.

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Mercedes driver George Russell in action during the practice pool for the Sakhir Grand Prix on December 4, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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