George Russell says it was “vital” to embed himself within Williams’ Formula 1 team ahead of his move into a race seat for the 2019 season.

Formula 2 champion and Mercedes youngster Russell was confirmed in a Williams seat for 2019 back in October, with Robert Kubica being named as his teammate one month later.

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Since being announced, Russell has spent every F1 race weekend within Williams’ team to get to know his future colleagues, as well as testing its FW41 car in Abu Dhabi last month.

“I think that was vital to be honest, to spend the grands prix before with Williams, more just tot get to know everybody,” Russell said.

“I am more comfortable to explain my feelings. We’ve already had that introduction stage with all of the team, so I was really happy to do that.

“It already feels like we’ve been working together for a long time.”

Russell will join Williams following one of the worst seasons in the team’s history, having finished last in the constructors’ championship with just seven points to its name.

For Russell, the priority for both himself and Kubica next year is not to fight with one another, but instead to lift Williams back up the order.

“I think our targets next season are very clear, and that’s to get Williams back to fighting into the points and the top of the midfield,” Russell said.

“I think we want to be recognised, we want to be putting in good results. If I’m beating my teammate but it’s for last position, there’s no joy or glory for anybody.

“Myself and Robert will be working really hard together, firstly to get the team to where they deserve to be.

“Then we’ll see how the results are after that."

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