Russell clear that Williams ‘mean business’

Henry Valantine
George Russell and Nicholas Latifi side by side in Hungary.

Williams drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi go side by side at the start of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.

George Russell spoke defiantly about Williams’ chances of advancing back up the grid in the future, saying they’re “not here to mess around”.

The team has undergone significant structural changes since their takeover last season, which saw a management team of Jost Capito and Francois-Xavier Demaison introduced at the top of the racing division.

Williams co-founder Patrick Head said recently that the team had been in need of a fresh leadership structure and, now that one is in place, the team should be able to continue its ascension back towards the rest of the pack.

Russell has also praised the new management previously, and he knows whether he is at the team or not next season, then they are beginning to move in the right direction again.

“The team mean business at the moment, they’re not here to mess around. They’re here to push this car, this team back up the grid,” Russell told GPFans Global.

“They’ve done everything that’s necessary to do that. I think it’s showing. There’s been so little that we could have been between last year and this year.

“Everything behind the scenes, improvement in procedures, equipment and infrastructure, everything, the team spirit within the team, has led to this increased performance.

“There’s a really great spirit here at the moment. The team really is going places.

“Regardless, if I stay or if I go, people recognise it.”

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Before he and Nicholas Latifi earned a double points finish for Williams prior to the summer break, the Briton was asked about where he felt Williams deserved to be in the Constructors’ standings, and he felt last would be too harsh on his team.

“I want to bring this team up to eighth in the Constructors’ because that’s what I feel we’ve got a chance of fighting for. We don’t deserve to finish last in the Constructors’ Championship,” Russell said to GPFans before the Hungarian GP.

“If we finished eighth that would be fair. If we were to finish ninth, I think that’d also be fair.”

Having had so many close calls prior to finally getting in the points, Russell was pragmatic about how long it had taken for him to achieve the ambition of a first top-10 finish with Williams.

“That’s the nature of sport,” Russell reflected. “Not always the best or the worst finish ahead of or behind the others. It’s all to play for.

“Personally, I just want to go out there and make sure I get to the end of the season and say, ‘I gave it everything I’ve got, and that was the maximum we could have given this season’.”