Claire Williams says George Russell is “similar to Lewis Hamilton”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Williams deputy team boss Claire Williams says she won’t stand in the way if George Russell gets an opportunity to drive for Mercedes.

Russell, a Mercedes junior driver, made his Formula 1 debut last year with Williams. His contract is said to be for three years, but everybody expects the Briton to end up at Mercedes eventually.

“George has a very clear ambition,” said Claire Williams.

“He wants to be a F1 world champion, and I firmly believe he will. George is such an instrumental part of this team, and I want to give him a car so he doesn’t look elsewhere.

“He has a long-term contract with us and I would expect to see him in a Williams car until that contract expires.

“But Mercedes is Mercedes, and I never want to stand in the way of giving a driver a great opportunity, if our team is not in a competitive position.”

Williams went on to praise Russell and compare him to fellow Briton and six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

“George has the whole package. He looks like an unassuming, nice guy, but he has a layer of steel within him which he has been taught by his parents.

“He hasn’t had a silver motor racing spoon in his mouth since he was born. He hasn’t had it easy, and the family haven’t had it easy to get him to this point either.

“He is fairly similar to Lewis Hamilton in that sense. When you don’t have it gifted to you, it makes you hungry, it makes you fight.

“That brings a certain edge to a driver, but George also understands that it doesn’t just take a natural talent to achieve that.

“He can always learn, always grow and build. He is only 22 and he has a very long career ahead of him in this sport.”

Source: PA news agency

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