The Briton is heading into his last two races with Williams before making the switch to Mercedes where he will become teammates with seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton

During his three years at Williams, Russell has helped the Grove-based outfit improve from its dire position stuck at the very back of the grid when he joined the team in 2019. 

Russell has underlined his star credentials with regular impressive performances in qualifying, including a stunning lap to take second on the grid in Belgium that ultimately led to a podium finish - one of four occasions he has scored points this season. 

“I will leave my time here at Williams with great pride,” Russell told Crash.net

“Having scored points multiple times, having been on the podium - these are memories that will last a lifetime. It also represents the struggles we went through. 

“I’ve been on both sides on the coin. I wouldn’t say we are on the other side of the coin. We had an exceptional couple of races but the coin is turning. 

“I remember my first race being lapped three times and being three seconds off the pace, arriving at winter testing with no car for the first three-and-a-half days, to standing on the podium in two-and-a-half years. That’s very special.”

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Williams has made clear progress over the last two seasons and secured a needed financial boost following US investment firm Dorilton Capital’s takeover mid-way through 2020. 

Russell is convinced Williams is on its way to putting its recent struggles firmly behind it in its bid to return to the front in F1 and recapture its former glory days, though he warned it will be a long-term project despite next year’s regulation overhaul. 

“I think the guys here have got a very clear mindset that they want to get Williams back to the top of the grid,” Russell explained. 

“They are also realistic that to achieve that, it takes time. If you attempt to do something special over the course of a year or two, you will fail and they recognise that. 

“The things I see, are really promising, but this is a five-to-ten-year plan for these guys. They are not suddenly going to be battling at the front of the grid straightaway, but the trajectory is there and they are going on the right path to success. 

“I’m really proud to have been part of the team - especially during this transitional period - when there’s been clear progress happening. 

“It’s really exciting and there’s nothing more I’d love than to see this team being back at the front of the grid."