George Russell believes the continuation of the Williams name in F1 was the “most important” aspect of the team’s recent sale to Dorilton Capital.
And the 22-year-old Englishman thinks “exciting times” could be ahead for Williams when the sport’s revamped regulations kick in for 2022 – even though he may not be with the team by then.
Russell is a Mercedes junior driver who is essentially on a three-year ‘loan’ deal with Williams and by 2022 will hope to have secured a race seat with the reigning World Champions.
Nevertheless, he is delighted that one of F1’s iconic constructors have secured their financial future following the purchase by American investment company Dorilton Capital.
“I think it’s great for the future of the team and exciting times ahead,” said Russell in his media interviews ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
“Obviously very positive news for Williams as a whole, everyone who works for the team and for us drivers.
“It was a slightly nervy time previously and I’m very pleased to see that the company and the team is stable moving forward and has a great company behind it to help push Williams back to where they belong, which is definitely higher up the grid.
“The Williams family have been a huge part of Formula 1. I think the most important thing with this change of ownership is the name and that side of things will be continuing.
“Obviously the Williams family wouldn’t have sold to someone who they didn’t believe would be beneficial for the team moving forward.
“The culture won’t be changing from a historic side and keeping the name of the team is very important as well, for us drivers and the people back at base.”
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) August 27, 2020
Despite having improved this season, Williams remain among the backmarkers of the 10 F1 teams – and Russell believes it will be 2022 before the real effect of the team’s sale will come to fruition.
“In any business I guess you can’t make very quick and sudden improvements, it’s going to take time,” said Russell.
“Formula 1 is an incredibly complex sport and you never see, when regulations are stable, massive jumps in performance. So I think 2022 gives a really good opportunity for all of the teams to start on a clean sheet of paper, and I’m sure that’s where the new owners are setting their sights.
“I don’t know exactly what the plans are moving forward, but definitely 2022 I’m sure is a big part of [Dorilton’s] goal to focus on.”