Russell: 'I didn't think Mercedes was a realistic possibility'

13-01-2021 14:23 | Updated: 13-01-2021 19:07
F1 News
Russell: 'I didn't think Mercedes was a realistic possibility'

During the Sakhir Grand Prix George Russell drove for a top team, but now it's back to business as usual. In 2021 he will drive again for Williams.

Focus on Williams

Russell qualified second during his debut for Mercedes and during the race, he seemed to be on his way to victory for a long time. However, Russell does not want to think about a possible permanent place at Mercedes from 2022 onwards just yet. "The focus now is on Williams. I will give everything for the team, just like they have done for me the last two years," Russell told in an interview.

Fast changes

For 2021, he doesn't have a specific goal he needs to achieve to have a chance of winning a spot at Mercedes. "No, they haven't said what I need to do," he says. Anyway, he doesn't want to think too much about the future. "This sport changes incredibly fast, your reputation can change quickly. And external factors, as we have seen, can play a role."

That the sport changes quickly is something Russell experienced first-hand. "If someone had told me in mid-season that I would be driving in the lead and starting from the front row - I wouldn't have thought it was even possible."

Williams-management against

The idea that he would have no chance at Mercedes also comes from the fact that former management was against such a possibility. "We had talked about it in the past and it was a no-go. But fortunately, the new owners were very open and wanted to give me this chance."

Failed pit stop

Russell's failure to win the Sakhir Grand Prix was mainly due to the pit stop debacle at Mercedes. The British driver sees it as a disappointment, but not the end of the world. "It doesn't eat away at me, because I see the race almost as a victory in itself, the way everything unfolded. At least that's what I try to tell myself, to get over the disappointment of losing the race."

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