George Russell has expressed that he is hoping to be the fight in the midfield with ROKiT Williams Racing in the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Championship, as the team get ready for the upcoming year.
Last year the rookie Russell struggled in his car, despite beating his teammate throughout most of the year, he failed to get any points on the board. To add to this, Williams ended up last in the championship with their sole point coming at the 2019 Formula 1 German Grand Prix.
Russell is confident of the new car for the upcoming season, explaining that they have made changes over the winter.
Russell explained when he spoke to Autosport: “The team took a big reset with an aero philosophy and we had to take that hit in performance to rebuild those foundations, so starting the season we were not surprised [with] the position we were in.
“We did hope to improve at a greater rate than we did, but those foundations took longer to put in place than we all anticipated. [But] now, the rate of improvement we are on is really strong.”
Russell commented explained how the wind tunnel is helping them track with what the new car will be like, ahead of shakedown and testing.
“We can really see that in the windtunnel tracker of the downforce we had at the start of the year, to what we have in the car now, to what we believe we will be starting next year. The only thing we don’t know is how much everybody else will improve. I can tell you now that if everybody else doesn’t improve at all, we’ll be well and truly in that fight.”
He made it clear that he wants to fight within the midfield this year, with the likes of Lando Norris of McLaren F1 Team, whom he beat in the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship to the title.
Russell said that he feels the team will make better of the 2020 season, as he says with what they are seeing they will be able to fight in the FW43 as they are seeing a change in the simulator.
“Everybody has improved but we believe we should be improving at a much greater rate into next year than we improved over this year. That’s a big reason to be positive. If we [had] started  with this car, we would have been fighting well and truly at the start of the year because we’ve put a decent amount of lap time on the car.“
Russell went on to convey that he will make sure he is a better driver during the season, as he wants to be able to build something ahead of the 2021 season, which will see rule changes and maybe a change in the grid. He made sure those knew that he wants to impress during this season.
“But everyone else [improved as well, so] on the eye it does not look like we made that much progress, whereas we’ve [actually] made the same amount as everyone else has done. I want to see progress in myself, and I want to see progress in the car. I do believe that [in 2020] we will be stronger. Going to 2021, which will have all of those foundations built again, and it should definitely be well and truly on its way.”