Russell 'wanted a teammate like Kubica' for rookie season

  • 24 Dec 2018 16:59
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

George Russell says he is excited about the prospect of going up against Robert Kubica at Williams next year. The Briton will compete in his maiden Formula 1 season, signing for the Grove outfit after an impressive handful of years in the junior categories. 

Kubica makes his full-time F1 comeback after a rally accident in 2010 left the Pole with major injuries to his arm. He has been working on a return to the sport ever since, and received his first official F1 role since 2011 this year when Williams signed him as its development driver.

Williams opted to place Kubica in the race seat for 2019, ousting Sergey Sirotkin. Kubica was regarded as one of the best of his generation before his rally incident, and Russell expects that he will not be a pushover next year.

“I’m really excited to be teammates with Robert," Russell said. "I think obviously there is no doubt about his natural talent. He’s extremely motivated and has huge knowledge about the car on the technical side, and I think obviously it’s no secret of a tough year for Williams in 2018.

“I think with his experience and my knowledge of my experience at Mercedes, I think we have a huge amount to bring to the team. He’s a fantastic guy off the circuit. He’s extremely knowledgeable on the engineering side, and his speed and talent is unquestionable. I really wanted a teammate like Robert to go up against and show what I am capable of.”

After a disastrous 2018 season, Williams is aiming to make gains on the rest of the pack, which remains Russell's priority: “I think our targets next season are very clear, and that’s to get Williams back to fighting into the points and the top of the midfield,” he said.

“I think we want to be recognised, we want to be putting in good results. If I’m beating my teammate but it’s for last position, there’s no joy or glory for anybody. Myself and Robert will be working really hard together, firstly to get the team to where they deserve to be, and then we’ll see how the results are after that.”

Replies (3)

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  • Russell seems like a good kid. I was very skeptical of his driving abilities most of the F2 season, but he ended strong and bested Lando by a good margin. I still question his super star credentials but I wish him the best. He is lucky to be with Robert Kubica as well.

    • + 0
    • Dec 25 2018 - 06:21
    • Kubica could be a good mentor for him, and I think Russell could have good potential. I have more faith in him than Norris, even though I want them both to do well.

      • + 0
      • Dec 25 2018 - 16:13
  • It will be good for him, no doubt, but the two main questions with Williams is if they can get it together and produce a good car, and if Kubica is really at 100% and the best man for the job. In an interview not too long ago he himself said that he was only at about 90% of his previous F1 form. Unfortunately that other 10% may be due solely to his physical limitations that he may not be able to overcome. His arm is pretty messed up. He's got tons of support and pretty much everyone wants to see him succeed, so he's got that going for him. Is it enough? I would guess his physical therapy and training went into overdrive after he got news of his 2019 seat.

    • + 0
    • Dec 26 2018 - 03:26

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