Williams views Russell as title-winning material

Mark Scott
George Russell was happy with his Q1 lap in France after missing FP1 and most of FP3.

George Russell was happy with his Q1 lap in France after missing FP1 and most of FP3.

Claire Williams has said she “will do everything in my power” to keep hold of George Russell, a driver she sees as a World Champion in-the-making.

There have been one or two suggestions that Russell has worked his way above Esteban Ocon in the Mercedes pecking order after still managing to impress in a rock-bottom Williams team.

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Russell said he is “absolutely” ready to make the step up to Mercedes but Williams is insistent that no such talks have taken place and Russell’s future, for now, lies with the Grove-based outfit.

“We haven’t had any conversation about George potentially leaving the team in the short-term because he’s on a long-term contract with us,” Claire Williams said via RaceFans.net.

“George is, for me, personally I feel that he’s world champion material and why would I want to lose George from our team? I would do everything in my power to keep George Russell at Williams.

“My ambition is one day that we will be able to provide George with a car where in steps he can start competing at the top of the midfield and then hopefully compete [for] the podium. that’s going to take time, clearly, but we’ve got to have ambition.

“George is a big part of Williams’s future. We made a very clear decision when we brought George in last year why we chose George because we wanted him to be a part of this journey and I hope the end result of that journey is that we give him a good enough car to show his true potential.”

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