Russell jokes about ‘driver-manager role’

Michelle Foster
George Russell and Nicholas Latifi

George Russell and Nicholas Latifi

Announcing that the Williams family will exit Formula 1 after Monza, George Russell has joked that he’s taking on a “driver-manager” role.

Having sold the family Formula 1 team to Dorilton Capital last month, Williams announced on Thursday that both deputy team boss Claire Williams and team founder Frank Williams would step away from the team after this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

The announcement brings to an end the family’s 43-year involvement in the sport.

The team confirmed a new board of directors in Chairman of Dorilton Capital Matthew Savage, CEO Darren Fultz and James Matthews, the CEO of Eden Rock Group, an investment advisory firm.

What wasn’t revealed, though, is who will take over as team boss.

Russell, who is contracted to Williams for the 2021 season, joked that he’ll soon be announced.

“I’m not sure if it’s announced yet, but I’ll be going as a driver-manager role being the Team Principal for the coming race… I’m kidding,” he said at the Monza circuit on Thursday.

“Claire broke the news to us this morning, to myself and Nicholas.

“[In terms of] assurances, for Claire and the Williams family the team means a huge amount to them, more than it does to anybody else, and I think they would not have sold it to a company they did not have faith that they would have the best interests of the team at heart, and I think with Dorilton that’s absolutely what they believe they have.

“They [Dorilton] are a great bunch of people, very passionate, and I am definitely at ease with the situation knowing that if Claire and the Williams family are happy with it then, like I say, they are only doing it for the interests of the team.”

Claire Williams

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His team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who also has a deal to continue with Williams into 2021, says he has every confidence that the Williams family has taken the right steps to safeguard the team’s future.

“Definitely over the coming days, weeks, months, there will be changes,” Latifi told the official F1 website.

“In due course a new management, Team Principal, will be announced at some point… for me, it’s not something that I’m so concerned about as Claire has said she really trusts in Dorilton and their vision for the team, so I can only trust that. And I do so.

“Whatever happens in the coming weeks, months, we’ll see.”

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