Latifi: Russell will be a good benchmark

Date published: December 18 2019

Nicholas Latifi brings the Royal Bank of Canada to Williams.

Taking on George Russell at Williams next season, Nicholas Latifi says he is eager to pit himself against the Brit who whitewashed Robert Kubica in this year’s qualifying.

Russell may not have scored a point in his debut F1 campaign but he did bring in some impressive stats, including a 21-0 scoreline against Kubica in qualifying.

He was the first driver to whitewash a team-mate since Fernando Alonso, who achieved the feat in 2008 and again in 2018.

Next year, though, he will have a different team-mate with Latifi stepping up to a race seat, replacing Kubica.

The Canadian racing driver says he is up for the challenge.

“I’m going to try and do my own thing,” the 24-year-old told RaceFans.net. “I’m my own person, my own driver.

“Obviously George is one of the highest-rated junior drivers.

“I’m very much looking forward to going up against him.

“For sure he’ll be a good benchmark, a good reference for me in the beginning parts to learn.

“He’s not going to be a rookie any more next year so I assume he will have some advantage.”

But while Latifi understands the importance of beating his team-mate, one of the bigger goals come 2020 is helping Williams recover from their slump.

The team finished P10 in this year’s championship, scoring just one point.

Latifi added: “I think we’re going to work very well together.

“Where the results are, where the performance is going to be, it’s obviously very difficult to say.

“But regardless, my goal is still going to be to just try to extract the maximum performance, whatever package we have.”

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