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Will his stint at Williams hamper Russell's development as a driver?
Posted by: Anderis
Date: 19/07/2020 21:56
I've been recently thinking about it. It's not so much that Williams is so bad nowadays but more about his team-mates. As Williams confirmed Russell and Latifi for 2021, this becomes increasingly more of a concern for George.

Kubica has turned out to be terribly off the pace after his accident and the long break from racing. And Latifi is in my opinion the least talented driver Williams have had in XXI century and possibly the least talented driver in F1 in the last several years. His pre-F1 record is very underwhelming and he's proven to be off the pace so far too- failing to qualify within 0.5 secs of Russell on all 3 occasions so far and finishing dead last every race.

What does it mean? George lacks a benchmark. He can outperform his team-mates by a clear margin while not even performing at his 100%. He can't really discover his weak points and areas he needs to work on. He might not even realise when he messes something up because there's not a competitive team-mate to show him up on the track. He will have little clue about when he needs to do better and how to achieve it.
Moreover, he will not be at his edge, forced to work his ass off in order to finish ahead of his team-mates. He will never know how much it takes to beat an average or above-average F1 driver. He will not know the pressure of fading into your team-mate's shade. He might get complacent from outpacing his team-mates so consistently.
He'll also not learn much from them as you would expect a young driver to learn from his team-mates, because he outclasses them so much there's not much to learn for him.

This would be an acceptable state for one season maybe as many great drivers started against a weaker team-mate initially (like Alonso) as there's much to learn in your rookie year regardless, but for 3 consecutive years- this is a lot of time and it might lead him not to confront his shortcomings and to develop some bad habits?

I don't remember any hot prospect like Russell to face such a weak team-mate set for so many consecutive years since his debut in F1. Do you think it will negatively affect his development? I'm genuinely concerned for him.

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