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Russell 'ready for the challenge' of F1 with Williams

Written by  Dec 23, 2018

Formula 2 champion George Russell believes he is "ready for the challenge" of Formula 1 as he steps up with Willims next year.

The young Briton joins the grid having achieved the same record as Charles Leclerc of winning both GP3 and F2 at the first attempt but, like the Monegasque, will be racing at a team where expectations are a lot lower.

Indeed, Williams is in a bit of crisis after finishing bottom of the Constructors' standings in 2018 and face a tough task in trying to reclaim a solid midfield position in 2019.

Russell though is confident of what he can achieve.

“I’ve come off the back of two amazing years and I’m ready for the challenge,” he said. “Obviously I’m a rookie and I’m not going to go out there and do anything stupid, but I feel like this is my time and I’m ready to do the business.

“It’s a huge step up, not only in the speed aspect, from F2 to F1. There’s so much extra coming with it. You’re in the eyes of millions of viewers.

“I’ve gone from working with 30 team members in Formula 2 to 750 with Williams. There’s much more pressure on the driver’s shoulders than just driving the car.”

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Russell has been preparing by working closely with Williams since signing the deal to replace Lance Stroll but he has also had the bonus of Mercedes' help as part of their young driver program.

“I’ve been in a very fortunate position in the last two years, being part of Mercedes and having the opportunity to be in the debriefs and the meetings alongside Lewis [Hamilton],” he admitted.

“It’s very surreal to be honest. The past couple of years, since joining the Mercedes programme, have been a step-by-step process.

“It almost felt like a natural step to get this opportunity [in F1]. This is everything I’ve dreamed of.”

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