Williams’ George Russell heads to the final four races facing a tough stat, the Brit on-course to be the first full-time F1 driver since Marcus Ericsson in 2017 to fail to score a point over a season.
…and the first Williams driver since Alex Zanardi in 1999, 20 years ago.
Should it happen, though, it’ll be a reflection on the team’s uncompetitive FW42 not Russell, who remains highly rated at Grove and at Mercedes, where he is a Silver Arrows protégé.
… and considered as next in line for F1’s top seat, potentially alongside Lewis Hamilton from as early as 2021 for an all-British line-up.
Despite all that, it will no doubt annoy the 21-year-old that his teammate Robert Kubica has scored Williams’ sole point so far. The Polish veteran got the final point for 10th in Germany post-race, after both Alfa Romeos were given penalties for clutch irregularities.
Russell though owns Kubica on stats, having outqualified him 17-0 so far and 13-2 in races when they could be compared. The team enduring its first double DNF for 2019 in Russia.The Brit delivering on his hype - as 2018’s Formula 2 Champion, his sole season in the category setting him up for F1.
SOUNDBITE (English) GEORGE RUSSELL,
F1 DRIVER, WILLIAMS:
“It’s an incredibly exciting year ahead, not only for myself but also for the team. I think there’s a big culture change moving forward into 2019 and to be at the helm of that is really exciting for me and it fills me with a lot of pride to be a part of this journey and seeing what history we can make together.”
Russell will also no doubt take heart from the performance of those who finished below him in F2 last year, championship runner-up Lando Norris doing well at McLaren, third placed Alex Albon at Red Bull Racing.
…both standout talents who have proved they deserve to be part of F1’s new guard, alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who Russell followed on his journey, also winning the GP3 and F2 titles back-to-back.
For now, Russell is staying positive and knows even though he may not score a point in 2019, his next campaign will be better.
“I’m very confident we will be more competitive next year,” he said. “We’re on a very good trajectory at the moment.”