George Russell says that he’s “quite proud” to be a voice for his fellow Formula 1 drivers in his new role as a GPDA director.
With Romain Grosjean leaving the grid and his role in the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, a replacement was needed ahead of the 2021 season.
Russell was ultimately the man to take the Frenchman’s place, and the Williams man is looking forward to getting started in his new role.
“I wanted to take on that role because I think what the GPDA has done over so many years has been great for the sport,” he told reporters in Bahrain.
“Whenever we’ve had our briefings between all of the drivers which in 2019 were very common, probably once after every two Grands Prix we’d stay after the drivers’ briefing and we’d all talk about certain issues or ways we believed we could improve the sport, safety, whatever it may be.
“Obviously slightly harder in 2020 with the logistical issues of COVID. I was always quite vocal, I always quite enjoyed putting my opinion forward and I guess having a voice for the drivers is something I am quite proud of, to be honest.”
Many would have expected an older driver on the grid to replace Grosjean rather than Russell, who is just 23 years of age.
However, the Brit thinks that his age is an advantage, believing that he’ll be able to offer something different to the other GPDA director, Sebastian Vettel.
“I think I have got a very good relationship with the younger drivers so I guess Sebastian is almost representing the older half of the grid and I am potentially representing the younger half of the grid,” he added.
Discussing what he’d consider a success in his role, Russell says that he wants to help make long-standing changes to the sport.
“I think if I can look back in 20 years’ time and say I was part of a positive change of Formula 1,” he said.
“I think the future of F1 is looking incredibly bright with Liberty, obviously now with Stefano [Domenicali] and Ross [Brawn] at the helm and from our side, the drivers are having a stronger and stronger voice to help shape that future of the sport.”