George Russell sure under-the-radar 2019 season will aid future prospects
George Russell says he “wouldn’t change anything” about his rookie Formula 1 campaign, believing his and Williams’ tough season will pay dividends in the future.
Mercedes protégé Russell stepped up to Formula 1 with Williams off the back of successive titles in junior categories GP3 and Formula 2.
Russell has out-qualified team-mate Robert Kubica at all of the 17 grands prix held so far and has been the lead car 13 times from the 15 occasions in which both have finished the race.
Russell, who will remain with Williams into the 2020 season, said: “I think [this year] has met my pre-season expectations.
“The whole Formula 1 rollercoaster itself, I wasn’t 100 per cent sure of what to expect but I’m really happy with how the season has gone, generally.
“From the good moments to the tougher times, I think I wouldn’t change anything at all.
“Especially from the tougher times I’ve learned a huge amount and generally being in the position that I’ve been at the back of the grid it’s given us an opportunity and me an opportunity just to explore a bit more and be under the radar.
“Hopefully that will help me out in years to come when we should be fighting.”
Williams has been rooted to the rear of the grid this year, often a second off the pace of its nearest opponent, with Kubica scoring its sole point at the rain-lashed German Grand Prix.
Neither Russell nor Kubica have yet made it out of the first segment of qualifying.
It comes after Williams slumped to last through 2018, the first time in its history it had finished bottom of the 10-team championship, and just three years after it classified third overall.
Russell, though, stressed that Williams has made gains with its FW42 across 2019 and is adamant it will be fighting for loftier positions next season.
“It’s definitely improved a lot just in the drivability side of things,” he said.
“From within, it’s definitely a nicer car to drive. It is obviously always quite tricky to make huge leaps forward for any teams but I think the foundations we have in place now are really positive going into next year.
“I’ve got faith we should be fighting probably towards the lower end of the midfield but hopefully getting into the mix much more than we are at the moment.”
Williams has yet to confirm the identity of Russell's 2020 team-mate.