Russell “comfortably” within the highlight regardless of Mercedes testing

Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Saturday, August 14, 2021 1:02 PM

George Russell has insisted he be “comfortable” with the exposure from his potential move to Mercedes.

Media attention has focused on the vacant second seat at Mercedes with the chance to merge Lewis Hamilton between Russell and current Silver Arrows Valtteri Bottas in 2022.

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Russell joined Mercedes for a one-off appearance at last season’s Sakhir Grand Prix after Hamilton was banned from the race when he tested positive for Covid.

When asked by GPFans Global how easy it was to be in the spotlight, Russell replied, “It’s definitely a new experience to deal with the added media control and a higher profile.

“That was something I knew would go with the job. Obviously, it was an improvement over all the races before and after the Sakhir Grand Prix.

“But I’ve been prepared relatively well for it. I’ve never been thrown into the deep end or outside of my comfort zone.

“So I feel like this has been a slow learning curve over the years. I’m pretty comfortable with it.

“As an athlete, you are expected to perform excellently on the track, then you are expected to be in front of the camera and be politically correct or charismatic or show personality, show all of these things.”

F1 drivers shouldn’t “show weakness”

Russell explained how difficult it is for F1 drivers to withdraw negativity after a tough session because such feelings can be portrayed and also pointed out the impact a review can have on a driver.

“If you are in a difficult situation do not show disappointment because it shows weakness,” said Russell.

“We are racing drivers and drive the track as quickly as possible. This is our number one duty.

“As a lawyer, it’s a lawyer’s job to do their best to defend every case, or someone who works behind the counter in the shop who takes checks and whatn’t. That’s their only job.

“There is so much more involved that we need to do as well as our main task.

“It’s very, very difficult and there have been a lot of cases recently where people have been examined so closely that it has very negative effects.

“I think there are only so many people who really understand what they are going through.”

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