“I’ve Got to Back That up” – George Russell Unfazed by Praise from F1 Greats

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It has not been a season of surprise for young George Russell. With Williams, he was never really expected to contend for points. At times, he did find himself in positions capable of doing so, although it never amounted to anything in the end.

Regardless, he is one among 20 drivers to be on the grid, which obviously means he is hugely talented to have made it to this level. For that very reason, he has previously earned praise from senior F1 figures in the paddock.

Much like any upcoming and hard-working young F1 racer, Russell is taking nothing for granted. While he is obviously pleased with the words of praise, the idea for him is to continue showing what he can do on the track.

George Russell believes the most amount of pressure on him comes from himself

The British driver is quoted as saying, “I obviously really appreciate these comments without a shadow of a doubt. But it’s almost sort of background noise, really, because I know I have to continue to perform week in, week out.

“And as fantastic as it is to get a pat on the back and the praise from these guys, I’ve got to back that up with the job I do on track.”

George Russell takes a track tour at Istanbul Park
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Williams’ George Russell walks around the track with team members ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, two champions of the sport, have said that Russell is a talent to watch out for. However, Russell wants to focus on showcasing his skills to the best of his ability with Williams for the time being.

“So I’ve always tried not letting comments like this get into my head or anything. I’m doing this for myself and my family. And the biggest amount of pressure I have is from myself and not from anybody else.” said Russell.

Can Russell be the future of Mercedes post the Hamilton era?

For those unknown to the fact, Russell is a member of the Mercedes junior drivers’ program. To have one of the academy’s future stars getting some vital F1 experience is always a positive.

George Russell during the Emilia Romagna GP race
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – October 31, 2020 Williams’ George Russell in action during practice Pool via REUTERS/Rudy Carezzevoli

Lewis Hamilton is obviously not growing any younger, and one day, Mercedes will have to name his successor. It is then very much possible that Russell’s name will be under serious consideration for the most coveted seat in F1.

As it stands, Russell will focus on making the best of his chances with Williams. More importantly, he is yet to secure a single point in his F1 career so far and will hope that that day is not very far.

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