I’ve already endured difficult experiences in my career – George Russell

by Tom Cairns
George Russell - ROKiT Williams Racing at the 2019 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Baku City Circuit

George Russell has found some days during his career “difficult”, not just the time he has had with Williams Racing up to this point.

The reigning-FIA Formula 2 champion has endured a tough start to life in Formula 1, in particular his recent drain-cover incident during Free Practice 1 for the 2019 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit that terminally damaged the floor of his FW42. Other than that, his car has been well adrift of the midfield pack.

The 21-year old spoke to Motorsport.com about his previous experience when times were not going right for him and how that has helped him cope with the sluggish start Williams have had to 2019.

“Yeah, you know, it’s not my first difficult year,” Russell said.

“I think sometimes if you have just such a perfect career path, when you do have a difficulty, you don’t know how to handle it, whereas I’ve had a number of difficult moments in my career, so I’ve sort of got the experience on that hand.”

The 2017 GP3 Series Champion also discussed about his last year in karting that he found “difficult”, when he was racing for Birel ART in the 2013 CIK-FIA European Championship KF.

“My last year in karting was very difficult, I went to a team [Birel ART] which wasn’t performing at the time. I saw it as a win-win situation; if I performed it’d look great on me and if I didn’t, people would just blame it on the equipment,” Russell added.

“You can call that a character-building season, and I also had that in Formula 3, my two seasons in Formula 3 were far from perfect. And that made me sort of into the driver I am today, and I learned a huge amount from those moments.”

Whilst the young Brit from King’s Lynn can only compare himself to his team-mate Robert Kubica at this moment of time, his former F2 rivals Lando Norris and Alexander Albon, who have impressed so far this season, can help propel Russell’s reputation in the sport and give him the chance to compete properly with them again soon.

“I think the level of rookies these days is extremely high, and obviously in these difficult times for me, looking at what they’re doing, I wouldn’t say it fills me with pride, but it kind of looks good on me as well,” Russell said positively.

“Obviously we all [Russell, Norris and Albon] raced in equal machinery [in F2] last year, so if they’re doing a great job, then that looks good on me as well.”

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