While it remains unclear what team George Russell will drive for in 2022, Williams CEO Jost Capito knows there is little his team can do should Mercedes come calling.
Now entering his third season with Williams, the Brit has long been earmarked as a future driver for the Silver Arrows. Those prospects were further strengthened last season when Russell impressed at the Sakhir Grand Prix, when he stepped in for Lewis Hamilton following his positive COVID-19 test.
Although the 2021 F1 season is only four races old, there is already talk about how the grid will look next season, and Capito knows there is little Williams can do should Mercedes look to bring Russell into the fold.
"When Mercedes makes an offer to a driver, it's difficult for anyone to keep him," Capito told Auto Motor und Sport. "No matter which driver, in which team."
Nevertheless, Capito made it clear it is still too early to speculate what the 2022 F1 grid will look like.
"It's too early at the moment, various contracts are coming to an end," Capito added. "At some point the silly season will start. You shouldn't let it start earlier than you have to.
"At the moment it would be wrong to focus on alternatives or to ask what a rider will do next year. That is too early in my opinion. We need to focus on really making the team work first."