George Russell says he wants to see progress with Williams’ 2020 car and explains how the team’s development rate has been significant. However he notes other teams have improved too.
Williams encountered numerous problems in their 2018 and 2019 seasons, culminating with a last place in the Constructors’ Championship on both occasions. The team has been undergoing a thorough reorganization process since 2018 and Russell says this led to more problem at the beginning of 2019. However, the progress could be seen throughout the year, as Russell explained after the season ended.
“The team took a big reset with an aero philosophy and we had to take that hit in performance to rebuild those foundations, so starting the season we were not surprised [with] the position we were in,” Russell explained.
“We did hope to improve at a greater rate than we did, but those foundations took longer to put in place than we all anticipated.
“[But] now, the rate of improvement we are on is really strong. We can really see that in the windtunnel tracker of the downforce we had at the start of the year, to what we have in the car now, to what we believe we will be starting next year.
“The only thing we don’t know is how much everybody else will improve. I can tell you now that if everybody else doesn’t improve at all, we’ll be well and truly in that fight.”
However Russell knows that others will also improve.
“Everybody has improved but we believe we should be improving at a much greater rate into next year than we improved over this year. That’s a big reason to be positive.
“If we [had] started  with this car, we would have been fighting well and truly at the start of the year because we’ve put a decent amount of lap time on the car.
“But everyone else [improved as well, so] on the eye it does not look like we made that much progress, whereas we’ve [actually] made the same amount as everyone else has done.”
Still, Russell remains optimistic for 2020 and beyond.
“I want to see progress in myself, and I want to see progress in the car. I do believe that next year we will be stronger.
“Going to 2021, which will have all of those foundations built again, and it should definitely be well and truly on its way,” concluded the Briton.