Russell opens up on relationship with Mercedes

Date published: January 6 2020

George Russell handed Merc tests amidst Lewis Hamilton/Ferrari rumours

Mercedes junior George Russell has given an insight into what it is like working for the Silver Arrows as he continues on his Formula 1 journey.

Russell, who has eyes on racing for the factory team in the not-so-distant future, will continue his development with Williams in 2020 after an impressive first season with them despite not scoring a single World Championship point.

While Mercedes continue to be supportive of Russell, he realises there is a weight of expectation of him to deliver for the team and that consistently doing a good job doesn’t necessarily warrant constant praise from his employers.

“With Mercedes, it’s always been the way that they won’t tell me when I’m doing a good job, but only tell me when I’m not doing a good job,” Russell said via Autosport.

“When I raced GP3 and I won GP3, I got a phone call to say ‘well done’, but straightaway we were talking about doing Formula 2 and doing FP1 sessions with Force India.

“At the time, I was like, ‘I’ve only just won the championship, surely I should be having a celebratory party or something?’.

“Then again, when I went to Formula 2 it was clear ‘the goal is to win, and if you win you win an F1 seat’. I won the championship, [it was] ‘well done, and now it’s F1’.

“They believe in me; they believe I’ve got the potential and I also think about it in a similar way.

“I’m being paid to deliver a very high level, and when I do that, it’s what I’m being paid to do.

“If a postman delivers his post, he doesn’t get a pat on the back because he delivered his post, it’s part of the job.

“My job, I should only be getting a bollocking if I don’t perform to a level.

“That’s the mentality, and they do appreciate it when you do something special, but everybody in a Formula 1 team – that’s the chefs in catering, they’re employed to deliver great food, the aerodynamicist is employed to deliver a great aero car, engineers and strategists are employed to perform a great strategy and set-up.

“It’s just the world we live in. I’m in contact with them every week and I always see them at the races.

“They’re definitely pleased with what I’m doing at the moment.”

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