George Russell: Williams' F1 predicament has aided personal growth

George Russell in action for Williams F1

George Russell believes Williams’ troubled 2019 Formula 1 season has aided his own personal development, reckoning it places additional reliance on a driver’s input.

Russell stepped up to Formula 1 with Williams following back-to-back titles in GP3 and Formula 2, and also tested for Mercedes courtesy of his role as a junior driver.

Williams slumped to last spot in 2018 and has remained rooted to the rear of the pack this year, amid a lack of performance from its FW42.

“Every driver, we want a race-winning car from the start of our careers,” said Russell.

“The only thing I would say about this year, and having driven the Mercedes car for the last three years, is that when you do have a car that’s difficult to drive it motivates you to spend more time with the engineers.

“[It means it helps] to understand how to improve that car, the things I need to work on to help the engineers understand what I need back from the car.

“Having that experience at the back of the grid [with a car] which at the start of the year was very very difficult to drive, I’ve learned so much what the designers need from me as a driver to help them produce a better car.

“I think if I was in a car that was absolutely spot on every single time I jumped into it I wouldn’t have the same experience, so that is positive at the moment.”

Russell also confirmed that he expects to remain part of Williams’ line-up into 2020.

“The only reason I wouldn’t be at Williams next year is if I’m in a Mercedes, but I’m absolutely committed to Williams at the moment,” he said.

“If the opportunity came along with Mercedes that would obviously be fantastic, but that’s not at the forefront of my mind.

“I’m fully focused here, and everything we’re doing now is also focused towards next year’s car and putting that on a better level to what our current car is.”