Nicholas Latifi believes Williams teammate George Russell will provide him with a “good benchmark and reference” during his rookie Formula 1 campaign.

Latifi finished runner-up in the 2019 Formula 2 championship and will graduate to Williams as Robert Kubica’s replacement to partner Russell for the upcoming 2020 season.

The pair competed against each other in F2 during Russell’s title-winning campaign in 2018 and Latifi said he is excited to rekindle their rivalry.

“I’m going to try to do my own thing, I’m my own person and own driver,” Latifi said.

“Obviously George is one of the highest-rated junior drivers - I’m very much looking forward to going up against him.

“For sure he’ll be a good benchmark and good reference to me, helping me to learn.

“He’s not going to be a rookie next year anymore, so I assume he’ll have some advantage, but I think we’re going to work very well together.

“Where the results are and performance is going to be, it’s obviously very difficult to say, but regardless my goal is still going to be to try and extract the maximum out of the package that I can.”

Deputy Williams team principal Claire Williams is convinced her side has the drivers it needs to recover from the back of the grid, despite their lack of experience.

“George and Nicholas have the type of personalties that we’re looking for,” Williams explained.

“They truly understand the importance of playing their role in the development of the team and motivating the team and inspiring the team. I think we’re very lucky that we’ve got two drivers that can do that.

"It’s always the case that with a rookie, which Nicholas will be next year, it’s going to take him a couple of races to get his head around things, but we know that he’s a quick study, and that he’s going to be there pretty quickly.

“We know that George has talent, and it hasn’t been any way a detriment to us putting George in as a rookie this year. In fact it’s been probably one of the best decisions that we’ve made over a handful of years.

“I don’t think it is a distraction in any way that we have two younger drivers in the car, because we know what they’re both capable of.”