Russell: One step back to go three steps forwards

Michelle Foster


Although George Russell concedes Williams are “still in the one step backwards phase” of their rebuilding, he says it is important they show the world they are “not a bunch of idiots.”

Williams have struggled this season and, after eight races, remain the only team yet to score a single World Championship point.

But while their on-track pace has been sorely lacking, their pit stops have not been.

Last time out in France the mechanics changed Robert Kubica’s tyres in a time of 1.97s.

And while that may be a small thing in the bigger picture, Russell reckons it is something to celebrate.

“I think obviously a Formula 1 team is a huge structure,” the Williams rookie told Motorsport Week.

“And the fact is every person who comes to the race track, whether for Williams, Mercedes, whoever, their job is to maximise what they’re given.

“[The mechanics are] not the designers, they’re not the aerodynamicists or anything.

“So regardless if you’re fighting for first or last they still have the motivation to show they’re the best on the grid let’s say.

“And definitely the mechanics… it’d be easy for them to think ‘we’re not racing for anything’. It’s important to show we’re not a bunch of idiots.

“It’s not going well at the moment but there’s been a whole reason why it’s not been going well.

“There’s been a big philosophy change from last year to this year and quite often you have to take one step back to go three steps forwards.

“At the moment we’re still in the one step backwards phase but we’re trying to make three steps forward.”

Russell is confident that the pain the Williams team is currently experience is not in vain.

“I wouldn’t say [the slump was] part of the plan, but it was expected, with the full restructuring the team had to make,” he added.

“We [knew] would have a very difficult start of the year. Obviously it wasn’t expected to miss winter testing and that again put us further on the back foot.

“But the positive thing, the motivating thing, is the team has a long-term vision.

“If you’re going to be in a difficult position next year or years down the line you need to build those foundations to sustain a good level. That’s what we’re in the process of doing.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.