George Russell says his Williams contract was “watertight”

© Williams Racing

George Russell explains “Williams had all of the power” in his contract and Mercedes was aware of that because they were involved in drafting it.

George Russell made his debut with Williams in 2019, after signing a three-year deal with the team.

Because he was also a Mercedes junior driver, there were several occasions when a possibility of him getting out of his contract early to join Mercedes was discussed by the media, but Russell reveals there was never a chance of that.

“It’s ifs and buts, isn’t it? They are conversations that didn’t even really happen because we knew how watertight the contract was,” the Briton explained.

“The contracts… Mercedes created the contract and worked with Williams on my behalf, so they were aware that Williams had all of the power.

“There was no movement there whatsoever. Claire [Williams, former team principal] was pretty clear, she had a very good deal from her side, because she had all of the power.

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“Williams was the last seat in Formula 1 – it was that or I wasn’t in F1. So she could really tighten that contract down. But it was all in Williams’ favour.

“Obviously, you want to have a bit of flexibility, because nobody knew how the team would perform. But we had faith at the time that the team would go back to some better results.”

Ultimately Russell believes the difficult years at Williams were good for his development as a driver.

“We were ready to do the three years there, because I thought it’d be really good for my development.

“As things panned out, I think it has been very good for my development,” he concluded.

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