George Russell believes having Williams legend Sir Patrick Head return to the team in a technical consultancy role will act as a timely shot in the arm and provide both guidance and motivation.

Williams has confirmed co-founder Head will take a technical consultant position from the Bahrain Grand Prix to provide support to its current engineering squad following the poor start to 2019 the British squad has suffered.

After skipping a filming day, Williams sat out the first two-and-a-half days of pre-season testing in Spain due to building issues with its FW42 which has pushed the team on the backfoot and was significantly off the pace at the opening round.

While Russell ended FP2 in Bahrain three seconds off pace-setter Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, with teammate Robert Kubica four seconds back, the British F1 rookie is optimistic about the influence Head can provide to turnaround the team’s fortunes.

“I think it’ll be great honestly. He’s only coming in on a support role, it’s not anything full-time, but with his presence he’s a very strong character with a lot of personality and it’s maybe what we need at the moment,” Russell said. “I think for all of his experience and history he has at Williams just having him around will lift everyone.”

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Williams has been without an key technical chief since Paddy Lowe took a leave of absence for private reasons one week before the opening round of the 2019 season, while former engineering boss Robert Smedley left the team at the end of last season.

“Patrick is a fantastic engineer and all of his success speaks for itself,” Russell explained. “He’s not looking for anything full-time, he’s been there done that, but he’s part of Williams and he wants to help if needed, so as I said it’d be great having him around.”

“Patrick has experience, everybody respects him a lot, he has done an enormous job in the past for this team,” Kubica added. “I think there is massive respect from him in the team. It’s good that he will be able to at least in I don’t know what way help us, we’ll see.”

Head helped guide Williams to seven F1 world drivers’ titles and nine world constructors’ crowns during his time in charge at the British squad which he formed with Sir Frank Williams.

 

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