George Russell has recently been appointed as director on the board of the Grand Prix Driver Association, an organisation that respresents the drivers'interests, especially on safety matters.
The young British driver is replacing Romain Grosjean, who will compete in Indycar this season. He will work together with other director and driver representative Sebastian Vettel and chairman Alexander Wurz.
After the Bahrain GP, Russell explained why he accepted this position in an interview to formula1.com, and talked about what he wants to achieve with the GPDA.
“Firstly, I mean, I wanted to take on that role because I think what the GPDA has done over so many years has been great for the sport, whenever we’ve had our debriefings between all of the drivers, which, in 2019, was very common – probably once after every two Grands Prix we’d stay after the drivers’ briefing and we’d all talk about certain issues or ways we could improve the sport. I was always quite vocal, I always quite enjoyed putting my opinion forward, and I guess having a voice for the drivers is something I’m quite proud of it to be honest”
He is honoured to have a chance of representing the other drivers on the grid, in particular the younger ones he feels closer to.
“I’m looking forward to that and I think I have a very good relationship with a lot of the younger drivers. I guess Sebastian is sort of representing the older half of the grid; I’m potentially representing the younger half of the grid,” he said with a laugh.
Russell, in his third season with Williams Racing, thinks that the future of Formula 1 looks "incredibly bright", and wishes, in the future, to look back at his GPDA experience as part of a "positive change" for the whole movement:
"[What do I want to accomplish?] I think for me, personally, if I can look back in 20 years’ time and say I was a part of a positive change in Formula 1. I think the future of Formula 1 is looking incredibly bright with Liberty, obviously now with Stefano [Domenicali] and Ross [Brawn] at the helm."
He is confident that the drivers can be helpful in modelling the new shape of the sport: "And, from our side, I think the drivers are having a stronger and stronger voice to help shape that future of the sport, as obviously we’re in a unique perspective to feel it from the drivers’ perspective, which is obviously a huge part of Formula 1."
As part of the GPDA, Russell's duty will be to help voice their opinions to the FIA: "So I, being at the forefront with Sebastian and Alex Wurz to push forward these views of the drivers to Formula 1 towards the FIA, and if I can look back and say I was part of that, that will be something I will be proud of."