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George Russell: The McLaren decision that pressured Williams to sign me for 2019

Written by  Jan 04, 2019

George Russell believes Williams was put under pressure to sign him after McLaren had promoted Lando Norris to a race seat for 2019.

The two British starlets battled it out for the Formula 2 championship last year with Russell's greater consistency seeing him dominate the standings ahead of Norris and Alexander Albon, who also joins F1 this year with Toro Rosso.

With the advantage he had, eventually securing the title in Abu Dhabi, the Mercedes junior thinks that gave Williams little choice but to offer him his first chance in F1.

Lando’s announcement so early [coming in September] helped me to push Williams for my drive because I was ahead of him in the championship," he told Crash.net.

“McLaren believed he was worthy of a Formula 1 seat, so it showed there was some great signs for myself.

“It also probably added more pressure for Williams to say we’ve got to go with George because he’s the guy who is winning F2.”

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Both Russell and Norris face tough tasks in their rookie seasons, trying to help two of F1's most historic teams recover from a dismal 2018.

For Russell, in particular, he arrives at a Williams team that scored just seven points last season but he is confident some progress can be made alongside Robert Kubica.

“I think our targets next season are very clear, and that’s to get Williams back to fighting into the points and the top of the midfield,” he claimed.

“I think we want to be recognised, we want to be putting in good results. If I’m beating my team-mate but it’s for last position, there is no joy or glory for anybody.”

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