George Russell is coming into his second season of F1 with the Williams Racing team with significantly higher hopes pinned on the new Williams FW43 after becoming mired at the back of the field in 2019.

Making his F1 debut last season after clinching the F2 title in 2018, Russell couldn’t bridge the sizeable gap that had opened up between Williams and the rest of the field over the course of the season.

However, Williams are more bullish about their chances with the FW43 with Russell demonstrating some encouraging lap times during pre-season testing, even if he says it is impossible to say where the team is until Friday practice gets underway.

 

 

“I am more confident than I was last year but it is difficult because we when we tested at Barcelona it was 10-15 degrees, the track was cold, different tyres… so until we get here we aren’t going to really know, I think we will have a good indication after this weekend," he said ahead of the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix complete with mandatory face masks.

The only driver not to score a single pointslast season – despite dominating team-mate Robert Kubica - he nonetheless impressed with his relative pace and consistency in the circumstances and is hopeful this year’s FW43 will allow him to showcase his abilities in F1.

“Definitely just the driveability [is the biggest difference]. last year we made steps but it was a really difficult car to drive, we were really trying to the limit but it was snapping on me, I was losing the read end and losing confidence. We’ve only been to Barcelona but it (the FW43) was really pleasant to drive, so I think for me and Nicholas it will give us more confidence and bring that bit of extra performance.

“We have built the foundations last year and we are continuing that into this year. Rome wasn’t built in a day and these things take time. We are making progress, it is very difficult when you come from so far behind the rest of the pack but we will judge our performance based off the others and how we have hopefully closed the gap to P9 in the constrictors’ and the rest of the midfield.”

 

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