George Russell has a big year coming up in F1. The Williams driver would want to push his case as best he can for the coveted Mercedes drive. However, he also has a huge role to play off the track. Having taken on the role of a director, leading the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), Russell wants to use his voice to help F1’s younger generation to be heard.
The Briton, who took over the role from Romain Grosjean, will be working alongside Sebastian Vettel (director) and Alexander Wurz (chairman). There is also a fourth non-F1 member, Anastasia Fowle, who provides legal assistance.
Speaking about his responsibility and how he intends to use his power, he said, “I think I’ve got a very good relationship with a lot of the younger drivers so I guess Sebastian [Vettel]’s almost representing the older half of the grid, I’m potentially representing the younger half of the grid.
The Williams driver is no stranger to being thrust into big roles. After all, he was the Grove-based outfit’s No.1 driver last year, so a leadership role isn’t something totally new. Moreover, Russell revealed that he was quite an active participant in the GPDA meetings to begin with.
Russell said, “I wanted to take on that role because I think what the GPDA has done over so many years has been great for the sport.
“Whenever we’ve had our briefings, we’d all talk about certain issues or ways we believe we can improve the sport, safety, whatever it may be and I was always quite vocal. I always quite enjoyed putting my opinion forward.
“I guess having a voice for the drivers is something I’m quite proud of, to be honest.”
It definitely seems like Russell will have his hands full throughout the year. However, his season didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.
Although a podium was always unlikely, he only managed to finish in P14. But the Briton has not lost hope; he reckons the only way is up.
Can Russell put his name amongst the points in Imola? Only time will tell.