Williams driver George Russell says he’s learned a lot from team mate Robert Kubica – veteran of six Formula 1 seasons – in his rookie year in the sport.
Russell, who graduated from Formula 2 as champion at the end of 2018, and who is part of the Mercedes F1 young driver programme, finds himself at the foot of the F1 championship table after 20 of the 21 rounds as a consequence of Kubica finishing tenth in a barmy German Grand Prix in the summer.
However, in what is a better reflection on outright pace, Russell has outqualified his more experienced team mate in each one of the 20 rounds of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship thus far, and will be looking to complete the set in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
However, despite their difficulties this year, and some fairly negative headlines (predominantly a target of, or originating from Kubica’s side of the garage) Russell says their relationship is good, and that he will miss his Polish stablemate.
“I have a great relationship with Robert. We get along well.” Russell said in an interview with racefans.net.
“He’s an incredibly funny guy. He’s incredibly knowledgeable on the technical side. And I learned a lot how he deals with the engineers and the feedback he gives. It showed me there was more I need to improve to be more of a complete driver.”
Russell will no doubt hope that he enjoys a similar bond with whoever replaces Kubica at Williams for 2020, with the Pole leaving the team hoping to pursue racing opportunities elsewhere.
At the time of writing, Canadian Nicholas Latifi – current Williams reserve driver – is everyone’s favourite to take the seat, with an announcement likely as soon as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend in two days time.
Whatever the pairing, Williams need to hope they can unlock performance in their 2020 FW43 that has been missing from their FW42, otherwise it’s going to be another challenging season for everyone involved.