George Russell hopes the three years of struggles he had racing for the Williams F1 Team will help him when he makes the jump up to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team in 2022.
Russell made his Formula 1 debut with Williams in 2019 but failed to score points with them in the first two seasons, with the Hungarian Grand Prix of 2021 the first time he broke into the top ten with the Grove-based squad.
He had scored points in a one-off appearance for Mercedes in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton fell ill, but it was midway through 2021 where he finally found the magic touch to get inside the points, which he ultimately did on four occasions last year.
However, Russell hopes the struggles he had with Williams will put him in a good place when he makes his full-time move to Mercedes in 2022 as Hamilton’s newest team-mate.
“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,” Russell is quoted as saying by 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.”
Russell feels fortunate that he has gained important experience racing for Williams, and he knows that should he be in a position where he is driving a difficult car, he will have that experience to fall back on.
“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,” said Russell.
“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.”