In one of many interviews Formula 1 drivers Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas shared their thoughts about season-2019, and in particular its newcomers. Both drivers recognized that in the future season the championship will be replenished with real talents, and said that the training level of debutants is incredibly high.
Indeed, in upcoming F1 season three young drivers are going to make a debut, and all three are the winners of the Formula 2 championship. Alexander Albon, who took third place in the Driver standings, is going to perform in Toro Rosso; Lando Norris will replace Stoffel Vandoorne in McLaren. However, more attention is focused on the current F2 champion George Russell, who will be the teammate of Robert Kubica in Williams.
In the season-2017 Charles Leclerc became a world champion of Formula 2, then he made a very impressive debut in Formula 1 and immediately moved to the top team. Last year Russell took the title in F2, and then earned a promotion to Williams. Therefore, it is not surprising that many expect him to make the same success as Leclerc made last year.
The chief technical officer of Williams Paddy Lowe sees similar potential in Russell.
“We have a different driver combination for next year which is actually incredibly exciting. George is one of the best prospective talents I think for Formula 1 that’s around at the moment. We’ve seen Charles this year come through from winning Formula 2 and I’m hoping we’ll see a similar star class capability coming from George,” Lowe told racer.ru.
However, Lowe, although expects development and impressive performances from the rookie, is aware that George will take some time to prove himself, in particular, driving Williams car. So, Lowe is willing to give the rookie time to get comfortable in new team and new car.
“But we should be patient around that. What I have seen over the years is different drivers take a different amount of time to get to grips with Formula 1 — some are slower and some are quicker, and it doesn’t actually indicate where they will arrive once they settle down.”
“So, we are not going into next season with any particular expectations for George, except that in the long term we think he’s going to be one of the leading drivers of the sport.”