George Russell hailed a “very positive” first Formula 1 test outing with Williams in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as he continued his integration with the team.

Formula 2 champion Russell will make his F1 debut with Williams in 2019, partnering Robert Kubica, and has spent a lot of time embedding himself within the team since being announced in October.

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Russell got his first chance behind the wheel of a Williams F1 car at the Yas Marina Circuit on Tuesday morning, completing 42 laps before handing the FW41 over to Kubica for the afternoon.

“My feeling was very positive to be honest,” Russell said.

“After the first two runs, I had some issues with the balance and I wanted to change and play around with, but once we sorted that I was very confident in the car.

“I had a good feeling to keep on pushing forward and explore the limit, and I think as a driver, that’s really important to have that confidence in the car. Once we got the setup right, I had it.”

While Russell has experience driving both Mercedes and Force India’s 2018 cars, he found it hard to make any firm judgements on how different the 2019-spec tyres being used in Abu Dhabi were.

“It’s difficult to judge because obviously every Formula 1 car is very different, and I’ve only experienced 2018 tyres with a Mercedes and a Force India,” Russell said.

“I think Robert will have more feedback when he jumps in the car this afternoon.”

However, Russell did say he felt he was able to contribute more in the test running than in the past as he looked to give feedback that would aid next year’s car.

“I have more input to give what I would like for next season, whereas before with Mercedes or Force India, we were there to do exact test items and get the most out for the team,” Russell explained.

“This is a bit of both, and it’s really good for me to understand just little things like the seat, the steering wheel, just to see how I like it and anything I want to change."

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