Williams’ George Russell insists he’s happy with how his career is progressing despite a lean debut season in Formula 1.
Williams’ poor form has largely prevented Russell from competing with anyone but his team-mate in 2019, but the Kings Lynn born driver sees the achievements of his F2 rivals from 2018 as support for his claim to be one of F1’s brightest young talents.
Speaking to motorsportweek.com about his current standing in F1 in comparison to the two guys he beat to the F2 title last year; Lando Norris and Alex Albon, Russell says:
“I actually want them to do better as the better they do the better it is for me.”
“When my time comes and I’m negotiating or whatever, I can say ‘well I’ve not really been fully able to show what I can do, but I showed what I did last year and the year before, versus these guys, and they’re clearly showing what they can do.'”
“If they were doing a bad job it probably wouldn’t give the same sort of credit to what I did in F2.”
Russell also sees similarities in his career trajectory and that of one of Formula 1’s biggest stars.
Charles Leclerc – now driving and winning for Ferrari – followed F3 title glory in 2016 with the F2 championship the following year, before launching his Formula 1 career with Sauber in 2018.
And in matching Leclerc’s junior formulae record of securing the F3 and F2 titles in consecutive years in 2017 and ’18, before making his F1 debut with Williams in 2019, George Russell believes his and Leclerc’s career paths are very similar.
“I’m on the exact same [career] course as Charles, factually, he won GP3, I won GP3, he won F2, I won F2, both in our first seasons, so now that Charles has the most amount of poles, and is winning races.”
Clearly this is something that has helped George remain optimistic during a difficult debut season at Williams F1, and will help him push on until he finds himself in a car with which he can once again compete with these guys (hopefully whilst still at Williams!)