Russell backs Williams to break hex in 2019

Saturday, 03 november 2018, 06:39 , by Matthew Scott

George Russell says Williams' 2018 slump is of no concern to him as he looks ahead to starting his Formula 1 career with the embattled Grove squad next year. Williams have slumped to the bottom of the constructors' championship this year, with Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin marooned on single-digit points hauls.

Sirotkin has scored a solitary point in 2018 – a 10th-place finish in Italy aided by the disqualification of Romain Grosjean's Haas.

Although they are driven by the all-conquering Mercedes power unit, Williams' aerodynamic package for 2018 has been so disastrous that Stroll complained that his car felt unsafe in the early races of the season.

Russell will likely enter F1 as a Formula 2 champion and the Mercedes junior is linked with a future move to the Silver Arrows – but he is not worried that his hopes might be damaged by another season of Williams struggle.

He told Finnish broadcaster C More: "Formula 1 changes so fast. Last year Williams was fifth in the Constructors' World Championship and two years before that were third.

"Next year is a massive opportunity and everyone is so motivated and hungry to improve."

The identity of Russell's 2019 team-mate remains a mystery, with Esteban Ocon, Esteban Gutierrez, Robert Kubca and Nyck de Vries all linked to the seat currently held by Sirotkin.

Although Russell has no preference, he wants any partner to be good enough to spur him on to push himself to the maximum.

Russell said: "I would be happy with anyone but it would be good if they are a really good driver to measure myself against.

"It's then important to build a good relationship with my team-mate so that we can push the team forwards."

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