George Russell, now the new team-mate for Lewis Hamilton, and so the new Mercedes driver who will replace Valtteri Bottas from this year on, went through many bad moments before reaching points for Williams.
Russell has been part of Mercedes’s junior programme for some years now and many times had the opportunity to show his talent and that he deserved a top team like Mercedes. Despite these opportunities, Russell had much bad luck, especially in 2020 season.
Indeed although the Williams driver has scored points in Hungary, Belgium and Russia scoring 16 points this season, the highest amount of points for Williams since 2017, and securing his team the 8th place in the constructors championship.
The first opportunity he had was at the Tuscan Grand Prix 2020 at Mugello, when he dropped out of points late during the race after a good start, in fact he commented: “ We made a really strong start, and then there was the incident, and I was actually running in the points for the majority of the race…”
“I think I was P10 for the majority of the time and then Leclerc has to pit for some reason, he wasn’t catching up so I was P9 during the red flag for Stroll’s incident. But at the restart, I had a very bad start and it felt like I had missed out only chance of scoring points in 2020, and that I would never get an opportunity like that ever again”.
The second unlucky chance for Russell came at Emilia Romagna Gran Prix at Imola also in 2020 when, he crashed behind safety car while he was P10.
But maybe the most unlucky chance for Russell came in Sakhir Grand Prix 2020, when Russell replaced Hamilton, while he tested positive for COVID-19. He had the opportunity to race with a top team and show his pure talent, but due to a bad strategy by Mercedes and a late puncture for him during the race, he was denied of what would have been a victory.
He commented that weekend, saying: “Everything that went on that week, the constant scrutiny on how I was performing, the amount of work that I did with engineers, that was a hell of a lot of be going through”.
Russell also experienced a second crash in Imola in 2021 with Valtteri Bottas, while fighting for ninth place and again another chance to score some points.
The Mercedes’s young star score points in Hungary and also Belgium this year after a great qualifying that secured him P2 while only 2 laps were completed behind safety car due to serious weather conditions.
Russell also scored points in Italy and Russia finishing his 2021 season with Williams on a high.