Williams‘ George Russell says he wants to be ready to take advantage of the “rusty” drivers around him when the 2020 season begins.
The campaign was meant to start back in March with the Australian Grand Prix, but the global health pandemic caused it to be cancelled and no racing has been possible since.
But, if the Austrian Grand Prix does indeed kick-off the season on July 5, then Russell wants to be in the best condition possible to take advantage of the drivers around him who will be “rusty” due to the lack of track time.
Speaking on the new F1 Nation podcast, he said: “[The lockdown] just gives myself the chance to nail my fitness even more, but I think for all of us, it’s going to be incredibly hard. You can train as much as you want, but you obviously lose race fitness.
“Running around the garden or doing weights in the gym is not the same as driving at 200mph around Silverstone, and that g-force is going to hit us hard that first practice session when we get back. But like I said, I’m doing everything I can to be prepared for that moment.
“Usually everybody’s at an incredibly high level. All the drivers are the best in the world and we’re always racing so much so you just get into this groove. But I think [the delaying of the season] allows people to hopefully get a bit of an advantage when we go back.
“If people are still rusty, if people are going to make mistakes, it’s going to be in the opening few races, so I need to make sure I’m not one of them.
“Also, from the team’s perspective, I need to try and motivate the guys around me to say, ‘Right, this is an opportunity that we’re not really going to get ever again… so let’s make sure we make the most of these opening few races when we get back.’”