Latifi explains why Russell is 'one of the best I have raced against'

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Nicholas Latifi has explained the qualities that make George Russell "one of the best" he has raced against.

While he really confirmed his potential at last year's Sakhir Grand Prix with Mercedes, Russell has also managed to do so despite being stuck near the back of the grid for the other 37 Grands Prix he's driven at so far for Williams.

The most impressive stats are that the Briton has yet to be outqualified by his teammate at Williams in two seasons and made Q2 nine times in 2020.

And after suffering a 16-0 whitewash last season, Latifi offered his insight into what makes George so strong.

"I think what gets noticed the most, not only from drivers but from the general public, is the Saturday [performance]," he said via GPFans.

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"Obviously, so much emphasis is on the qualifying because it is kind of showing your potential, showing your speed.

"The fact that he is exceptionally good on Saturdays, putting laps together, gets close to the maximum from the car consistently because he very rarely has things go wrong, whether that is from a mistake in the lap or a mistake in the preparation or what have you.

"It is just always being put together. I think that is what gets noticed the most and obviously, being his teammate, seeing his data and the consistency of that, it is one of his strong points.

"Probably, from my experience with other teammates, he is probably one of the best on a Saturday that I have raced against. So that is obviously a really big part of what being a racing driver is."

For his dominance on a Saturday, Russell hasn't always got it right on race day.

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In fact, Latifi was actually on course to finish ahead in the Championship before George got his Mercedes chance in Bahrain.

Still, the Canadian remained focused on the positive.

"Besides the outright speed, it is just the consistency because it is very rare that he makes a mistake which is also an important part of being a racing driver," he added.

"So I think these qualities for these people that are inside the team or inside the sport - other drivers - it is very clear to see these traits that shine through."

Last week, both Latifi and Russell conducted a shakedown of the 2021 Williams, the FW43B, at Silverstone, ahead of its official launch on March 5.