George Russell has explained his idea behind taking up the GPDA director role from Romain Grosjean, as he says he is still learning the little details.
It was a surprise to see Russell named as the new GPDA director, in place of Grosjean, who moved to an advisory role. The British F1 racer joined Sebastian Vettel in the capacity along with Alexander Wurz, who is also the Chairman of the association.
Russell wasn’t the sole director named as GPDA legal advisor Anastasia Fowle, was also promoted to a new role. Elaborating about the work during Bahrain GP press conference, the Williams racer noted that it was his call to take it up as a new challenge.
He admitted that he is still learning the little details as it is only his third F1 season, but felt confident to represent the drivers. In fact, Russell noted that he could ‘potentially’ be the voice of the younger generation, while Vettel can be for the experienced ones.
“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,” said Russell. “Whenever we’ve had our briefings between all of the drivers, which in 2019 was very common, probably once after every two grands prix we stayed after the drivers’ briefing and we’d all talk about certain issues or ways which we believe we can improve the sport, safety, whatever it may be.
“Obviously, it was slightly harder in 2020 with the logistical issues of COVID-19, but 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 to be honest. So, now I’m looking forward to that and obviously I think I’ve got a very good relationship with a lot of the younger drivers.
“I guess Sebastian is sort of almost representing the older half of the grid, I’m potentially representing the younger half of the grid. I think over the past couple of years – obviously I’ve only been in Formula 1 for the past two seasons – but the involvement we as drivers are having with Formula 1, with the FIA, is increasing year on year.
“And Formula 1 are definitely open and they really want us to be even more involved. So what the future can hold, I’m not too sure. I think potentially just further outside of Formula 1 and more motorsport in general would be fantastic really, but obviously I’m the new boy on the block in this role so I can’t give too many opinions at the moment. I will just listen and learn and find my feet as time progresses,” summed up Russell.
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