Russell ‘welcomes the challenge’ of continuing hot streak

Henry Valantine
George Russell's cap covers his face in an interview. October 2021.

George Russell takes part in pre-race media duties in Turkey.

George Russell has lavished praise on his “amazing” Williams team – and hopes to keep up their scoring streak with another solid race in Turkey.

While he managed to earn a P10 finish in Russia, Russell’s storming lap that put him in the top three on the grid will have given the future Mercedes driver plenty of confidence to take into the final races of the season.

After scoring his first Williams points in Hungary, he has since scored in three of the four following races – including an official podium after his superb qualifying lap in Spa that preceded the race being all but washed out.

Head of vehicle performance Dave Robson feels the pressure on the team will increase if they keep performing well, and while Russell admitted himself he had not seen this success coming, Williams have been doing all the right things this year.

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“Obviously before the season you always hope, and you always think, it will be an improvement on the previous one,” said Russell, quoted by the official Formula 1 website.

“But certainly after the Bahrain test and the Bahrain race, there was no way I thought those stats would have been possible.

“I think [I have] a lot to thank the team for. [They have been] making a lot of good decisions at the right moments. If we think back to these [five] races, Spa was obviously wet, last week [at Sochi] was very tricky conditions in both qualifying and the race.

“Budapest also, we started the race on inters and it was only really at Monza where the conditions were pretty stable, but even then we had the Sprint format, so things were different again.

“So I think we’ve just done an amazing job these past five races, been in the right place at the right time to capitalise on these moments, and I think we’ve improved the car as well along the way.

“We’ve understood it more, we’ve tried some things and things have turned out better than perhaps we would have expected, and I think we’ve found a bit of performance there.

“It was maybe a little shame not to score more points in Sochi given the circumstances at the end of the race. We had a really difficult final stint, but it’s definitely been a good five races or so.”


Russell will also be hoping to rectify his bad memories of Istanbul last season, when he had to start from the pit lane after sliding into the barriers while trying to enter the pits after a reconnaissance lap in wet conditions before the race – and he is ready for what challenges lay ahead of him.

“It wasn’t very pleasant to drive last year!” Russell said with a laugh. “So fingers crossed it’s a better experience.

“But it’s because of those sorts of weekends we’ve been scoring points.

“From a pure pleasure perspective, you want just as much grip, and the car to be as driveable, as possible. But if that was the case every weekend, we’d probably not be scoring as many points. So I’ll welcome the challenge. But I think we’d all like to think it would be a slight improvement on last year.”


Turkey GP Preview

The F1 arrives in Turkey. What has the weekend got in store...