George Russell has shed light on why he's joined the Grand Prix Drivers' Association as a director ahead of the new 2021 Formula 1 season.

Russell was announced as Romain Grosjean’s replacement as a GPDA director on Tuesday following the Frenchman’s departure from the sport at the end of 2020.

Russell will work alongside Sebastian Vettel, chairman Alexander Wurz, and the group’s lawyer Anastasia Fowle in being a voice for the drivers.

Speaking ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Russell explained his reasons for taking on the role and why he wants to be a voice for the younger generation of driver.

“I wanted to take on that role because I think what the GPDA has done over so many years has been great for the sport,” Russell said. “Whenever we’ve had our briefings between all of the drivers which in 2019 were very common, probably once after every two grands prix we’d stay after the drivers’ briefing and we’d all talk about certain issues or ways we believed we could improve the sport, safety, whatever it may be.

“Obviously slightly harder in 2020 with the logistical issues of COVID. I was always quite vocal, I always quite enjoyed putting my opinion forward and I guess having a voice for the drivers is something I am quite proud of to be honest. Looking forward to that.

“I think I have got a very good relationship with the younger drivers so I guess Sebastian is almost representing the older half of the grid and I am potentially representing the younger half of the grid.”

Further explaining his reasoning for taking up the role as director, Russell says he wants to have a long lasting positive impact on the sport outside of just his on-track achievements.

“I think if I can look back in 20 years’ time and say I was part of a positive change of Formula 1,” Russell added. “I think the future of F1 is looking incredibly bright with Liberty, obviously now with Stefano [Domenicali] and Ross [Brawn] at the helm and from our side, the drivers are having a stronger and stronger voice to help shape that future of the sport.

“We’re in a unique position to be the ones who feel it from the drivers’ perspective which is obviously a huge part of Formula 1. Being at the forefront with Sebastian and Alex Wurz, to push forward these views of the drivers towards Formula 1, towards the FIA.

“If I can look back and say I was a part of that then that’ll be something I’ll be proud of.”

 

 

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