George Russell says working closely with Robert Kubica is his priority ahead of 2019 rather than trying to get the better of his Williams teammate.
Kubica will make his comeback to the sport next year after eight seasons out following a serious rally accident, while F2 champion Russell will make his debut. While beating your teammate is one of the main goals for every driver in F1 due to the differences in machinery on the grid, Russell says the recent struggles at Williams means he has a very different perspective when it comes to 2019.
“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,” Russell said. “I think we want to be recognized, we want to be putting in good results.
“If I’m beating my teammate but it’s for last position, there’s no joy or glory for anybody. Myself and Robert will be working really hard together, firstly to get the team to where they deserve to be, and then we’ll see how the results are after that.”
Although Kubica hasn’t raced in F1 since 2010, the Pole had more than four full seasons of experience prior to that — winning one race — and has also been the Williams reserve driver this year, taking part in a number of tests and three FP1 sessions.
Russell is a Mercedes young driver and believes both drivers have strengths that can help Williams improve on this year’s return of seven points as it finished bottom of the constructors’ championship.
“I’m really excited to be teammates with Robert. I think he has obviously no doubt about his natural talent. He’s extremely motivated and has huge knowledge about the car on the technical side, and I think obviously it’s no secret of a tough year for Williams in 2018. I think with his experience and my knowledge and my experience at Mercedes, I think we have a huge amount to bring to the team.”