George Russell Just as Tough as Lewis Hamilton as F1 Teammate: Williams Boss

Published 04/26/2021, 4:57 PM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: ART Grand Prix Formula 2 driver George Russell of Great Britain and Williams F1 and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP talk in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 22, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


Being a teammate in F1 does not carry the same meaning to it as it does other sports. For you are practically sharing the garage with your biggest rival on the grid and against whom your caliber as a driver will be directly judged. Just ask Valtteri Bottas, who has to deal with measuring himself against Lewis Hamilton season after season. And Williams CEO, Jost Capito, believes that George Russell also offers a similar challenge to his teammate.

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So far in his two years at Williams, Russell has had the number of his teammate. He has beaten both Robert Kubica and Nicholas Latifi in each and every qualifying session. Capito, hence, sympathizes with Latifi.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

“To be the teammate of George is very difficult. The same as being the teammate of Lewis, that is always difficult,” said Capito on F1’s ‘Beyond The Grid’ Podcast.

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‘Demanding’ George Russell has the ability to get an F1 team behind him like Lewis Hamilton

Having a potential title contender in your lineup is not just a positive, but also a huge responsibility. Yes, the driver will outperform the potential of a consistent basis. But if you don’t deliver him a car worthy of his talents, you can see him heading for the exit door.

“He is demanding,” Capito acknowledged.

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“When I said before it’s not easy to work with him, [this isn’t] negative. No, this is a compliment. Because he is demanding, he wants more and more, he is never happy, and the driver should never be happy with what he has.

“But he has the ability to get the team behind him. Everybody is really pushing and motivated to give him what he is demanding, and that is an ability that really a top driver needs.”

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In all honesty, it is hard to see Russell as a Williams driver beyond this season. While the new Technical regulations offer some hope, it would be hard for him to resist the lure of Mercedes. He got a slight taste of what it feels like to drive for them last season in Sakhir, and he would be aching to seal a permanent drive gig with them.

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Bharat Aggarwal

695 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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