George Russell says he doesn’t feel any extra pressure ahead of his first season as a Mercedes driver as he assures that he will forget about everything when they sit in the car. After spending three seasons at Williams and fighting at the very bottom of the grid, the Briton will make the leap and thus find himself in a position to be at the top where he gets the chance to fight for victories.
Russell will compete with Mercedes, the team that has won the last eight constructor championships in a row and seven in the driver category. With a significantly higher share of wins than any other team between 2014 and 2021, Russell should be fighting for race victories, and perhaps even for a world title.
However, with that comes additional pressure. But the 23-year-old assures that it won’t affect him when he’s in the car. "I feel just fine. I don't deny that there may be pressure, but when you wear a helmet, forget about everything else, ”says Russell.
George already knows what it’s like to fight in races as a Mercedes driver because he replaced seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, when he tested positive for covid-19.
George Russell on the pressure
The young Briton took second place in the qualifications for the Sakhir Grand Prix 2020, while it did not take him long to take the lead in the race.
However, clumsy reactions in the Mercedes garage cost him his first victories. In the end, he finished in 9th place with the fastest lap of the race, the position with which he scored his first points in Formula 1. "Obviously, I was lucky to have my first experience with Mercedes," he adds.
"Am I on the grid in the front row, it never occurred to me to go to the first turn with the possibility of fighting for the leading position in the race, because when you lower the visor, the only thought is to be as fast as possible: attack those in front of you and defend yourself from those they follow you.
" “Even when I was ahead (leading position), I felt like I was racing like in any other race. I didn't feel any extra pressure in the cockpit while driving, because I was there to do just that, "Russell concluded.
Although he lost the chance to find himself on the podium in the Sakhir race, Russell finished 2nd last year at Williams at the Belgian Grand Prix.