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Russell can make same impact as Leclerc in F1, Williams claim

Written by  Dec 30, 2018

George Russell can make the same impact on Formula 1 in 2019 as Charles Leclerc did this year, Williams claim.

The British driver joins the grid having repeated the same feat as the Monegasque having won both GP3 and F2 at his first attempt.

Leclerc went on to impress in his rookie year with Sauber, earning himself an immediate promotion to Ferrari for next season alongside Sebastian Vettel, and now Russell has the pressure of trying to make a similar mark with Williams.

“George is one of the best prospective talents I think for Formula 1 that’s around at the moment," technical director Paddy Lowe told Racer.

"We’ve seen Charles this year come through from winning F2, and I’m hoping we’ll see a similar star class capability coming from George."

Lowe's prediction though does come with a call for "patience", perhaps in an attempt to temper hopes of immediate results.

"What I have seen over the years is different drivers take a different amount of time to get to grips with F1," he said. "Some are slower and some are quicker

"It doesn’t actually indicate where they will arrive once they settle down, so we’re not going into next season with any particular expectations for George.

"[But] in the long term we think he’s going to be one of the leading drivers of the sport," Lowe stated.

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The British engineer will also be well placed to evaluate Russell as he followed Lewis Hamilton's career with McLaren between 2007-2012 and Mercedes until the end of 2016.

“I was fortunate enough to work with Lewis in his first season, coming in as a rookie, so I know some of the challenges around that," he commented.

"It will be very interesting to see how it goes with George."

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