Russell considered a deliberate jump-start

Date published: April 2 2020

George Russell Williams

George Russell said that he considered a deliberate jump-start as a “bit of a joke” as he tried to escape the back of the grid.

2019 was Russell’s debut season in Formula 1, but he spent it adrift at the back with Williams’ FW42 well off the pace.

The Mercedes junior was the only driver to finish 2019 without a point to his name – he had the beating of then team-mate Robert Kubica, but the Polish driver was able to score a point with P10 in Germany, leaving Russell alone on zero.

With the 2020 season yet to get underway due to the coronavirus pandemic, Esports has seen a surge in popularity with Formula 1 launching their own virtual series to make up for the shelved opening eight rounds of the campaign.

And ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert, who joined Russell on Sky Sports F1’s new online ‘Vodcast’, demonstrated the value of corner cutting after he went from the back of the grid to leader after completely cutting turn one during F1’s first virtual race ‘in Bahrain’.

And after praising Herbert, with a touch of sarcasm, for that move, Russell admitted that he had weighed up whether or not the penalty for a deliberate jump-start would have actually been worth it last year considering the team’s predicament.

“I have a bit of experience starting near the back so I might take that one in when we go racing again and get a bit of TV time,” the Briton joked on Sky Sports F1’s ‘Vodcast’.

“I was actually weighing up the option once as a bit of a joke, wondering what the penalty would be if you massively jump-started.

“You might actually be more beneficial just to do it and take the penalty than starting at the back.”

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