Ahead of the Mexican GP, MotorLat had the chance to interview exclusively George Russell. In the first part, we discussed about his expectations and hopes for the end of this season, thoughts on the 2022 regulations and other topics. Here is the link if you haven’t read it yet and would like to.
In the second part, we focused on his relationship with the team so he told us his favourite moment in his career, his thoughts on Dorilton Capital’s takeover, his relationship with Sir Frank and Claire Williams and so much more.
We asked him what has been his favourite moment in his career until now: the podium at Spa or maybe his first points with the team in Hungary or something else.
“It has to be the podium! It was a special feeling for me and all the guys” - he replied immediately with a smile. Therefore, we asked him how he and his guys at the track celebrated it.
“We celebrated it by working hard on the next race! We didn’t have much time but I managed to celebrate it a bit at home.”
In Brazil, the teams and drivers will be testing the sprint races format for the last time in 2021. Asked about if he is a fan of them and if there are some tweaks he would like to make for the future, he said:
“I am a fan that we are trying new things. How we can improve it, I’m not too sure. So far, it has really been a sprint in every race; cars were so close together, there was not a flat time to overtake and there wasn’t a flat moment because the tyres are not degrading and everyone is pushing full-gas; normally we need to see the strategy to give that opportunity. I trust F1 and I trust they will achieve improvement.”
Before 2021 ends, there are other four events to race to put in the bag. MotorLat asked George what tracks he thinks are going to be better for him and the team.
“Qatar is looking interesting, it’s a new opportunity, a new circuit. I like the layout, it looks fast and flowing. From all of them, I would say Qatar is a good opportunity.”
Dorilton Capital took over an historical and previously family-owned team, so we were curious to know how important it has been for him and the people who work there.
“Without them there were no guarantees that Williams could have been here. Everybody was a bit unsure when the new owners came in the business but they have done a wonderful job and everybody is so pleased with the Dorilton ‘s takeover.”
However, it was Sir Frank Williams and Claire who gave Russell his first opportunity in Formula One, and he always cherishes it. He thanked them with these words:
“For sure I will always be grateful to them. They gave me my opportunity into F1 and I would not have been able without them. I thank them for their faith and their trust, I know they are still watching on it and supporting Williams and hoping for the best for Williams.”
Coming back to his maiden season into this category, George had the chance to pair-up former Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica. How much and what did he learn from him through his rookie season?
“I’ve learnt a lot from Robert! – he explained – I think the biggest thing is the technical front. He was so smart and so intelligent on that aspect of the car. He made me understand I needed to improve, to do a better job on this. He really pushed me on the technical aspect.”
Alex Albon revealed that it has been his good mate Russell to help him securing his seat for the next season. Will he be taking the beers in after the ends of the season, we joke.
“Yeah, for sure, - he laughed - We were meant to be together in Austin but it did not happen. For sure we’ll have a good evening together at the end of the season!”
Then we asked him if he believes that Williams will get out the best of the Thai driver.
“I think so, they are a really good fit together! Williams are the perfect choice for Alex to have his second opportunity in Formula 1, he is very motivated and excited for the challenge and they know how strong Alex can be, so I think it’s a perfect fit.”
We want to close the interview talking about mental health. Not long ago, it had been Men’s Mental Health Day but, aside of that, it is always an important and worthy matter to speak up about. Russell’s fellow Brit and F1 driver Lando Norris talked about his struggles in his rookie season, as F1 is a stressful perfection-oriented environment. How important is according to George mental preparation and to take care about mental health in general?
“Mental health is incredibly important in all aspects of life, you shouldn’t be ashamed to be ashamed to talk about it and seek for help. We all have our difficulties, we all have thing we are stressed and worried about. Talking to a professional is very important. If you want to lose some weight and get fitter you go to the gym and maybe you have a personal trainer, you don’t speak to the receptionist or to your friends to get fitter, you speak to a trainer and it’s the same with mental health. If you are struggling, go to a professional to go to get proper advice is important.”