George Russell has claimed he is "grateful for the difficulties" faced during a tough three-year stint at Williams ahead of his move to Mercedes.
Russell joined the F1 grid with Williams in 2019 with the team rooted to the foot of the constructors' table.
Despite a number of eye-catching performances, in particular with his qualifying pace that earned him the nickname 'Mr Saturday', the highly-rated back-to-back GP3 and F2 champion struggled to steer his car into the points.
His streak of scoreless finishes ended at 50 this year with an eighth-place finish in Hungary, a performance he immediately backed up with a podium, Williams' first since 2017, in Belgium.
The difficulties, Russell feels, have only added to his 'toolbox' that he takes to Mercedes.
“I think I'm pretty grateful for the difficulties that I've faced on the track throughout these years because quite often when you get in a faster car and a car that is more complete, things just naturally feel easier," said Russell, speaking late in 2021 in an interview including GPFans.
“For us, we've had so many limitations, whether it's been trying to get the tyres in the right window, the brakes in the right window, following other cars has been incredibly difficult really fighting and battling to hold on for positions.
“When a car is faster, often everything seems good. The strategy is always good if the car is fast. You start becoming luckier. These things start falling your way and I think, I feel, more of a rounded driver because of this.
“I often talk with my trainer about building this toolbox of experience and knowledge that…I'm sure, throughout my Formula 1 career I'm never going to have a car that's the quickest year after year or the best year after year.
“But, if I do have a car that's very difficult to drive, I've had these experiences that I can just go back into the toolbox and remember what I experienced prior to 2019 or these last few years. So, I feel pretty fortunate to have had this.”