George Russell believes Williams F1 team can build on their improved 2020 performances and beat their closest rivals on the F1 grid – the Haas F1 Team and Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN.
Although Williams remained rock bottom of 2020 Constructors’ Championship for a second consecutive season, and scoring zero points for the first time in their history, they were improvements to be seen in the British-based team performances compared to 2019.
Williams consistently battled among their nearest rivals at the back of the grid as Russell fell short of scoring points on numerous occasions – most notably at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when the twenty-two-year-old spun his car into barrier whilst running tenth behind the safety car.
Alfa Romeo scored eight points across the 2020 F1 season, with both drivers scoring four points each, while Haas finished with three points in ninth. However, Russell believes they can beat their two nearest rivals and fight for points in the 2021 season.
“I’m confident we can beat Haas next year,” Russell is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “I think we’ll be on a par with Alfa Romeo but I’d like to think we can jump them as well if you look at the progress we’ve been making.
“We want to be scoring points next year, we’re not suddenly going to be in the midfield fight because of the regulation stability. But definitely we have to be aiming to beat Haas and Alfa Romeo.”
Russell looking to Continue to “try and push Williams further forward”
Although Williams failed to score a single point in 2020, the British driver still managed to collect his first-ever points in F1 at Sakhir Grand Prix.
Russell was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to drive Lewis Hamilton’s championship-winning Mercedes W11 car in Bahrain with the seven-time World Champion ruled out after he tested positive for coronavirus.
The 22-year-old certainly impressed in the Mercedes, qualifying just 0.026 seconds behind Valtteri Bottas, before taking the lead on the opening lap. However, the weekend ended in disappointment for Russell, who suffered a mechanical mix-up and a slow puncture which resulted in him finishing ninth, ruining his chance of a maiden Grand Prix victory.
Russell’s experience in the fastest car on the grid taught him several key lessons and use that to push Williams even further next season.
“I think it’s continuing the form, continuing the positive attitude internally with the team and externally not getting frustrated with the poor performance here, and continue to try and push Williams further forward,” he explained.
“Mercedes believe in me. They have given me the opportunity, they’ve always had my back, now it’s sort of my duty that I stay on the straight and narrow almost, and that I don’t… suddenly change over the course of next year.”