Russell fortunate to have had ‘brutal’ experiences

Finley Crebolder
George Russell

George Russell

George Russell feels fortunate to have had a number of setbacks in his Formula 1 career as they all make him mentally stronger.

The Williams driver endured heartbreak last time out at the Styrian Grand Prix as, running in P8 and looking set to finally score his first points for the team, he was forced to retire with an engine issue.

To him, that was made all the more painful by the fact that those sorts of things don’t seem to happen when it wouldn’t matter as much.

Russell said: “It’s just typical isn’t it? It doesn’t happen in the two years when we’re last in every race but the one time we’re truly in the points.

“We were on course for a good result, we were on the right strategy, the car was feeling good, we were really fast on Friday – such a shame.

“But let’s see, this is Formula 1, it’s never meant to be easy. It’s a brutal sport at times.”

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George Russell Imola crash
George Russell Imola crash

The DNF at the Red Bull Ring was the latest in a long line of difficult moments Russell has experienced in his three seasons on the F1 grid.

Last year, he crashed under the Safety Car while running in the points in Imola and, standing in for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in Bahrain, had his chances of winning taken away from him by a pit-stop issue, while this year a collision with Valtteri Bottas in Imola took the chances of a top-10 finish from him.

While he admits such let-downs can be tough though, he says they make him stronger.

“Mentally, [it’s] very difficult,” he added.

“I think my first year I took it in my stride because I was just so excited to be in Formula 1 and learning so much, and obviously now into my first year I just feel ready to score some good result, and I feel the team really deserve it with the progress they’ve been making.

“But mentally it’s not easy. We’re all winners, and all here to win, and it has been a bit of a rollercoaster this past year. Imola last year, Mugello last year, Bahrain obviously, and then Imola again this year – it’s been a lot of difficult races to deal with.

“I feel fortunate because hopefully in the future having the chance to fight for victories and world championships, I’ve experienced a lot more disappointments than others, so it’ll make me mentally stronger and actually help me in the difficult moments in the future because for sure there will be some.”

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