“We’re really pleased he got that opportunity” – Williams has welcomed back George Russell for the season-finale at Abu Dhabi, after a single-race stint with Mercedes replacing Lewis Hamilton.
George Russell has had a rollercoaster ride over the past week or so. From making his Mercedes debut replacing Lewis Hamilton with the fastest car ever in F1, he is now back to driving the slowest currently. Nevertheless, Williams Team Principal Simon Roberts is extremely pleased to welcome Russell back “home”.
“It’s great to have him back. It feels like he’s come home for the weekend, which is really nice.”
“He came back in a fabulous place. He had a fabulous weekend last weekend. I’m sure he was a bit disappointed inside but we gave him a really warm welcome back, we’re really genuinely pleased to see him.”
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) December 10, 2020
George Russell was fabulous for Mercedes all weekend, giving teammate Valtteri Bottas a run for his money. But the weekend ended on a terrible note for him after he was denied a win twice. First, the Mercedes crew uncharacteristically messed up his pit stops, and secondly, his W11 caused problems as he was chasing down race leader and eventual winner Sergio Perez.
“His programme went to plan. We were running a few rakes to test stuff for next year but he tapped into the car really quickly. I’m sure maybe on that first lap he was trying to find his braking points again in our car. But he didn’t put a foot wrong, he got everything out of the car we expected, and we’re looking forward to a good weekend again.”
George Russell to Mercedes in 2021?
When asked if Russell could move to Mercedes next season, cancelling Bottas’ contract, Roberts replied in the negative. He, however, seemed to suggest that a world-class talent like him would eventually make it to the best car. For now, they are just focusing on improving next season, after a disappointing one this time around.
“Definitely inside we have known for quite some time what a talent he is and last weekend he got the chance to show it on a world stage and we’re really pleased he got that opportunity. We’ve got Nicholas (Latifi) and George signed for next year and the path we’re working on right now is just to make sure that we can give them the best possible car next year.”