George Russell says he’s relishing the opportunity to teammate and compete against Robert Kubica at Williams in his rookie Formula 1 campaign and is eager to work with the former race winner to help the British team respond after a tough 2018.

Russell will be one of three F1 debutants from 2019, along with Lando Norris at McLaren and Alexander Albon at Toro Rosso, and at Williams goes up against the returning Kubica who has been handed his F1 comeback following his life-threatening rally crash which forced him out of the sport in 2011.

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Despite coming up against Kubica and his previous F1 experience of 76 race starts, Russell feels the pair can form a strong partnership which will allow him to “show what I am capable of” against a former Grand Prix winner.

“I’m really excited to be teammates with Robert. I think obviously there is no doubt about his natural talent,” Russell said. “He’s extremely motivated and has huge knowledge about the car on the technical side, and I think obviously it’s no secret of a tough year for Williams in 2018.

“I think with his experience and my knowledge of my experience at Mercedes, I think we have a huge amount to bring to the team.

“He’s a fantastic guy off the circuit. He’s extremely knowledgeable on the engineering side, and his speed and talent is unquestionable. I really wanted a teammate like Robert to go up against and show what I am capable of.”

While Russell expects team rivalry at Williams will naturally occur, he feels it will only become relevant if the team can return to a competitive position in 2019.

This year Williams finished bottom of the F1 world constructors’ championship for the first time in its history and achieved just three points finishes all year.

“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,” he 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, and then we’ll see how the results are after that.”