George Russell, Williams, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Russell would welcome Hulkenberg as team mate

2020 F1 season

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George Russell says he would welcome Nico Hulkenberg as his team mate next year if the Renault driver joins Williams.

Hulkenberg’s options to stay on the grid next year are narrowing. Esteban Ocon will take his seat at Renault and he missed out on a chance to join Haas when the team re-signed Romain Grosjean.

Williams, which Hulkenberg made his F1 debut for in 2010, is one of the few remaining teams with a vacancy for next year, as Robert Kubica has confirmed he will not remain alongside Russell at the team.

Russell said yesterday he would be happy to go up against Hulkenberg.

“My preference is to have the fastest driver possible next to me because I’m doing my best to prove what I can do to everybody and I want the opportunity again to show you that.

“Ultimately from my side I just focus on myself, get on with my own job, my engineers. And I think I feel ready to take control, lead the team if it were a rookie to come alongside me.

“Equally I’d be probably just as happy to have an experienced guy such as Hulkenberg coming in, good reputation and experienced, I’m sure I can learn some things from him. But again it gives me a very good opportunity to show what I can do.”

Williams reserve driver Nicholas Latifi has been tipped for Kubica’s seat next year. Russell, who is in his first season of F1, believes he is ready to take on the role of leading a team if he is partnered with a new driver.

“I feel like I’ve done that my whole career, really. I think it’s the driver’s job to build a team, keep them all motivated. Especially with your own engineers to try to really build that relationship. It’s just a bigger scale now in Formula 1.

“I’ve put a lot of work in. I probably spend more days in the factory compared to any other driver on the grid. On the simulator, always trying to develop that, prepare for the weekends, spending time with the engineers. So I see that as just being my role as a driver.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “Russell would welcome Hulkenberg as team mate”

  1. Here’s George, potentially as good as Leclerc, one of the best of his generation… and what does he have to show for himself? 0 points.

    I feel sorry for able drivers who drive around the back. Best he can hope for is destroying Hulkenberg last year. Largely hailed as the best driver not to have a podium to his name. Meanwhile George Russel the new best driver without a point to his name.

    Maybe Kubica is actually good and George incredible. Williams needs a known quantity in their car. Atleast to judge what is going on with that car, because results are shocking.

    1. Alonso never scored for Minardi, but Webber did. It means nothing. Current Williams is a dog, same as Minardo back then. Only drive for top team verify true potential of a driver (look at happy go lucky Gasly from past year, or incredible Fisichella in his Sauber/Jordan days, Berger was no worse in his Ferrari and Rubens, was a new Senna in his Jordan/Stewart days). Go to a top team and fight against Sennas/Hamiltons/Verstappens. Then we’ll see how good your really are, George.

  2. Can williams afford to have a non pay driver such as hulk in their car?

  3. This is ridiculous. Hulkenberg should have had a top drive by now, it’s such a shame.

  4. Bennett Toso (@)
    4th October 2019, 21:57

    If Russell really means this, then I like his enthusiasm. It’s good he can be so positive driving for a team that usually comes in 19th and 20th. And I take no pleasure in saying that. I want Williams to do good. I just don’t think they have them money or the talent to compete with F, Mer, RB, Rn, H or McL.

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