Williams driver George Russell.

MOTOR SPORT: After the exhilaration and eventual sore disappointment of his outing in Lewis Hamilton’s championship-winning car, it was a return to the back of the field for West Norfolk Formula 1 driver George Russell on Sunday.

Russell ended his maiden F1 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 15th place, giving him an overall 18th position in the drivers’ championship with the three points he picked up while ‘guesting’ for Mercedes last time out.

Russell said he was proud of the season he had had with the Williams set-up, adding: “The team have worked their socks off to make the most of it.

“It’s been a massive step forward and we have to be grateful for that. 

“It’s still not where we want to be but everyone is working really hard to improve the car. 

“It’s been an emotional and intense season on and off the track and everyone now gets some well-earned rest. 

“Today we did the best we could, keeping some faster cars behind us.”

Russell gained two grid spots from 18th for the start of the race due to penalties for Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen.

Russell kept the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi behind him and the King’s Lynn-born driver finished just behind the Ferrari pairing of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.