‘It was a real eye-opener’: George Russell lifts lid on working with Robert Kubica

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George Russell has been announced as Mercedes’ new driver (Getty Images)
George Russell has been announced as Mercedes’ new driver (Getty Images)

George Russell has credited former teammate Robert Kubica in helping him develop in Formula 1.

His progression has seen him bag his dream move as he will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022. He has had a loan spell at Williams to develop his driving which is where he had valuable time with Kubica, who scored the team’s only point in 2019.

Russell told Motorsport Magazine: “Definitely being teammates with Robert is something I was incredibly fortunate to have. He’s got so much experience, so much technical knowledge. That was a real eye-opener for me being team-mates with Robert and I had to raise my game, to be honest.

“I feel like I’ve made huge progress since 2019. I feel like I can come to the track and discuss openly with the engineers about different set-up options and items and what I believe would work in this part of the track or these corners, why we want to go down this direction.

“This was really benefited by just seeing how educated Robert was, which really helped me in 2020 and this year after Nicholas [Latifi] came on board as a rookie.”

The knowledge he gained through his former teammate will now be applied at Mercedes and Russell couldn’t hide his excitement when the news was announced.

He said in September: “It’s a special day for me personally and professionally,” said Russell. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely buzzing. It’s a huge opportunity and one I want to grab with both hands.

“But I’m under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge; it’s going to be a steep learning curve. I want to do my new teammates proud. Of course, one of those new teammates is – in my opinion – the greatest driver of all time.

“I’ve looked up to Lewis since I was in go-karts and the opportunity to learn from someone who has become a role model both on and off track can only benefit me as a driver, a professional, and a human being.”

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