George Russell, Williams, Hungaroring, 2020

Russell inspires “innate confidence” at Williams

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says George Russell already inspires great confidence in the team in only his second season of Formula 1.

What they say

Williams confirmed last weekend Russell will continue to drive for them in the 2021 F1 season:

We’re incredibly lucky to have George in our team. I’m so pleased that he’s staying with us going into 2021.

We all know what a brilliant talent George is but I mean he is flying at the moment, isn’t he? He’s so assured in himself. He knows exactly what he wants from the car. He knows exactly how wants it set up. He knows when he wants to go out. And you just have that innate confidence in him that he’s going to be able to go out and give you the laps that you need, the lap in qualifying or the laps in the race.

He’s just so tuned in. And for somebody his age, for somebody that’s only in his second year in Formula 1, I think he’s really quite special.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Neel is encouraged by the coming additions to the F1 calendar:

A blessing in disguise! With the Covid-19 causing global disruptions, it has given fans a treat and F1 with no choice but to hold races on some of these classic venues who might not be shelling millions of pounds every year like their middle eastern counterparts.

Some positive out of this disruption.

Really excited and looking forward to see these cars on these circuits.
Neel Jani (@Neelv27)

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “Russell inspires “innate confidence” at Williams”

  1. Ok, what does people want FIA and F1 to do for diversity?
    Is it expected them immediately to promote a non-white, not eastern-european driver?
    They couldnt even do that with nationalities they dearly and economically want to.
    I am sure F1 has a wishlist for a winning – or at least well performing – American (US), Chinese, Japanese, MiddleEastern driver. They probably couldnt do that next year with a new Brazilian driver.
    I may even doubt that there is a lot of competent white uppermiddleclass driver for FIA do pick up.
    How do people realistic expect that FIA/F1 can deliver some results on promoting diverse drivership.

    1. The whole push for diversity idea is dumb, F1 should always be about merit period. If F1 start looking at skin colors to meet some arbitrary quota, thats when F1 become racist

      1. Affirmative Action is used to force structurally racist or long standing racist organizations to change their ways. It’s not racist.

        1. Judging people by their race, rather than their abilities is racist.

          1. Clearly you don’t understand what affirmative action is. I suggest you do some reading on it.

          2. I get it exactly. You make a different choice depending on the race or gender of the person, rather than their ability or a measure of the difficulty they had in life.

            So there will be situations where you will make choices that harm a person purely based on their race or gender aka racism/sexism.

          3. BTW. This arrogant claim of yours that I don’t know what I’m talking about when I do, just makes me think you don’t care about the people that you want to harm.

          4. I think he was just politely pointing out that you are indeed the racist one ape.

      2. If F1 were merit-based, then the F1 workforce would be generally reflective the diversity prevalent within the societies that supports it. Simple fact: It doesn’t.

        It is apparent that there are barriers specific to people of colour and women that prevent them participating merit alone- The alternative would be the ridiculous notion that these people are automatically of lesser value to the F1 and motorsport industry- Are they somehow any less intelligent? Less innovative? Less driven? Less technically capable? The answer is “well, obviously not” so the question remains, why are they under-represented if F1 is merit based?

        How can F1 be simultaneously be the pinnacle of motorsport, and technical innovation, but at the same time powerless to confront the fact that there are systemic factors that limit the participation of these under-represented groups, as Stewart, Ecclestone and Andretti would like to suggest?

        Diversity is not ‘dumb’ as a previous comment suggests- It is in fact the opposite. A sport and industry that truly seeks to engage with the best and brightest will cast the net as far and wide as possible. Without a constant push for diversity, F1 is not engaging with the full depth and breadth of the talent pool; A completely hypocritical, and self-defeating notion.

        Diversity is not ‘dumb’- It is both the morally the right thing to do, and the the smartest approach in the quest for ever-increasing performance. One can correlation vs causation, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the most dominant team of all time (arguably- I am still an RBR fan) is the same one that has tackled this issue more head on than the rest.

        1. Best comment on this issue I’ve read.

        2. Thank you

        3. Very well said. COTD for me.

          1. Best comment! COTD.
            Jake, may you live long and bless us with your wise words.

        4. @Jake very well put.

          > If F1 were merit-based, then the F1 workforce would be generally reflective the diversity prevalent within the societies that supports it. Simple fact: It doesn’t.

          But now I have a new idea. What if current workforce is reflecting the distribution of those willing to work in this type of environment?

          Let me say that I’m all for diversity and I believe a little push is needed to help with the change. But let’s reflect on F1 and its “circus”: these are people passionate about mechanics, engineering, willing to travel for a large chunk of the year. From my little, humble experience this doesn’t reflect the desire of a “common” (sorry if something gets lost in translation) woman. There are of course exceptions, but honestly this doesn’t look the norm. In fact, we have more women involved in PR with the teams but very few in the garage. I also notice that nowadays motorsports look more appealing to girls and we have a wide range of new professions around the pure mechanical engineering that is F1 (from physio to media), but they are relatively recent: I’m pretty sure teams are already and will be giving some time much more diverse in those areas.

          So in the end, while pushing for change, let’s also be honest and admit that there are professions that are more interesting for men and other that are more interesting for women: we need to be open in equal measure to everyone, but also factor that if there is a ratio 100:1 in terms of interest in a job between men and women it will be much more difficult for a women to excel there and we’re talking about the pinnacle of motorsport here.

          I’m sorry if I can’t make hypothesis about black people but where I live there isn’t much diversity and I have no real experience about the matter and I’m again sorry if something sounds rude in any way, it’s a slippery matter to talk about even in your native language.

          1. COTD

            You can’t force people to take interest in something they aren’t interested in.

        5. Exactly what I am talking about, just because there is under representation, you view F1 as a whole consider people of color and certain gender are of lesser value. If you can find proof someone was denied of any position in f1 due to color or gender, I am more willing to listen to this ‘diversity’ push.

        6. Except for the simple fact that women worldwide are lower educated and work fewer hours than their male counterparts.

          And that the majority of people worldwide are lower educated and poorer than a few groups of other people.

          So when you are looking for employees in a merit based competition you are going to be fishing in a certain pond.

          So the actual cause of the diversity problem seems to be education and poverity.
          And the proof for that comes from Western countries, where education systems and welfare systems have gotten to the point that females till the age of 30 are higher educated and of higher income than their male counterparts.

          1. The actual talent pool for engineering jobs in F1 is not all of the world. It is people who:
            1. Had access to a high quality base education
            2. Had access to a high quality engineering education
            3. Chose that engineering education
            4. Had the ability and desire to make the most of that education
            5. Had access to high level jobs to further hone their skills
            6. Chose to take those jobs
            7. Had the ability and desire to make the most of those jobs

            This is a tiny fraction of the world population and there is no reason to assume that these opportunities and desires are equal for different groups. A Pakistani peasant has basically zero chance, because they won’t even get high quality basic schooling.

            Western women have 1 & 2, but rarely take step 3.

        7. Very well articulated Jake, this is situation with diversity. To the posters above you need to take time to understand why your paradigm is part of the problem and not the solution. Don’t be defensive, take time to think through the comment from Jake above and spend time on additional reading. It’s a complex issue requiring deeper thinking and introspection from your own circumstances to build understanding that is counter to the usual ‘binary’ online arguing.

        8. @Jake

          The evidence strongly suggests that women tend to have different interests than men, on average.

          One of the biggest gaps that sociological research has found between groups, is the thing- vs people-oriented gap between men and women. If you pay attention, you can see the effects of this gap all around you, including in very many situations where people are free to choose. Why are there almost no amateur fisherwomen? Do the fish discriminate? Do online shops refuse to sell fishing gear to women? Of course not.

          If the patriarchy was keeping women out of technical professions, you’d expect Middle Eastern countries (that are very patriarchal) to have fewer female engineers than Western countries, but they have far more. This is despite an enormous amount of advertising aimed at girls telling them to choose STEM careers, in the West. Apparently, oppressing women is a lot more effective at getting them choose STEM careers.

          Note that we see divergent behavior at all levels and from a very young age: childhood hobbies, choices made in high school, choices made at university, etc.

          So if these different behaviors are caused by cultural factors, it has to be encultured at a very young age, which makes it impossible to distinguish from biological differences. Are you open to the possibility that some of the differences may be biological? If some are, you can only achieve gender equality by creating an oppressive society that disallows people to choose freely.

          PS. The women who don’t get to work in STEM typically have other jobs where they use their talents. The dogma that so much talent is lost because of different career choices ignores this completely and is rather insulting to the professions that women do choose. Don’t they deserve to have talented workers?

          1. @Aapje
            Ofcourse the talent pool is the whole world, have you seen the profile of students at universities in Western countries. The students are literally from all over the world and the diversity is increasing by the year.

            The only way to increase diversity is education and poverty, after that everyone can choose whatever they want do.
            And as for the poor pakistan farmer, if he sets is mind to it and takes a chance, like his Indian sikh counterpart, he can make it anywhere in the world or atleast create the opportunity for his children.

        9. but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the most dominant team of all time (arguably- I am still an RBR fan) is the same one that has tackled this issue more head on than the rest.

          …nothing to do with them having a black driver, I suppose? I am 100% sure that Mercedes would not be pushing for diversity as much as they are if Lewis wasn’t their star driver. This team has a shockingly low number of “diverse” employees. In fact, I had to laugh at the last race during the podium “celebrations“, Mercedes looked to have deliberately pushed an Asian man and a female employee to the front of the crowd so that they were directly in front of the camera. “Look how diverse we are, everyone!”

          I am against racism 100% (ever notice how everyone seems to say that!?) but we’re starting to go full circle here in an attempt to fast track a solution to a problem that F1 cannot solve overnight. And it’s also not going to be solved by forcing people to take a knee and naming/shaming those who choose not to for whatever reason – that kind of aggressive, forceful behavior is never going to sit well with most people, and will push them to indifference.

          1. Uh, the man and women you speak of are always at the front of the crowd; as is Ms Travers. And it was Ham who said he would do something on his own, and it would be cool if others did the same. His point now being if the F1/FIA/GPDA want to highjack the process; as they have done, then they are not only responsible for the shambles, but have the responsibility to sort it out.
            No idea where the fast track solution idea comes from. Mercedes diversity program has been in place for a while and Ham predicted it will be 5 to 10 years before they know whether his commission achieves results. Hardly fast.

        10. Superb comment

      3. G (@unklegsif)
        24th July 2020, 6:31

        @gusmaia and @fluffydave

        The simple point you have both failed to comprehend is that Lewis and the FIA’s initiatives are not aimed solely at F1 and drivers in F1… They both seek to tackle the issues and obstacles prevent, dissuade or are experienced by people throughout their careers, no matter what their profession be it driver, mechanic or engineer. Lewis has openly talked about the blatent as well as whispered raxism he and his family experienced during his rise through the ranks, as well as his desire to see true talent nurtured in all walks of motorsports life, not just the F1 paddock

        The fact that it comes at the time of the BLM movement I think, I think, is used by some in the media (not here Keith by the way) and in fan pages and in comments as an opportunity to attack… can’t imagine why

      4. Are you deliberately being obtuse? Not one person is suggesting what you seem to have an issue with.

        1. G (@unklegsif)
          24th July 2020, 9:49


          Are you deliberately being obtuse? Not one person is suggesting what you seem to have an issue with.

          Who’s accusing anyone here? Have I made any accusations?
          No, I was just pointing out that the initiatives are not targeted specifically at F1 and diversity of drivers

          1. Thats not in response to your post. Its the way this comments section is laid out. I’m replying to the same posters you are. So my post is directly under yours. A reply to your post would be slightly off set. :)

    2. I guess it depends on how it feels inside the F1 ‘family’ about how much they are doing. I work for one of the largest companies in the world and they’ve not even really got started to change but they have had discussions and senior management briefings for 2 months straight, with more initiatives and discussions to come with black leaders and managers across the globe, across all countries they operate in. Like I said they’ve barely got started and I expect loads more training, initiatives and other actions to be taken for months and years to come before they are finished. They are serious about it and are tackling it as they would any other major issue. I can see and sense what they have started in order to tackle this injustice is not going away.

      I guess Lewis doesn’t get this feeling from the F1 family, leadership or fellow racers.

      1. G (@unklegsif)
        24th July 2020, 10:52


        Thats not in response to your post. Its the way this comments section is laid out. I’m replying to the same posters you are. So my post is directly under yours. A reply to your post would be slightly off set. :)

        Ah, I see…. my bad :)
        Its confusing now as I cant reply directly to your post, rather the “reply” button is now in the post under yours from theRealMax…..


  2. 2% of people living in Europe is “black”. F1 is mainly staffed by people who live in Europe. So I would expect 2% of the F1 staff to be “black”. If that is not the case then there’s a problem.

    1. G (@unklegsif)
      24th July 2020, 6:33

      It’s not about ensuring proportional representation tho @aliced

      1. Why not?

        1. Because then some companies might be labelled racist only because they have 3% ‘black’ staff.

          Education, awareness, and true equal opportunity, that’s how you tackle racism.

  3. Re COTD: Not all of them can really be regarded as ‘classic’ circuits. Mugello and Portimao have only been used by F1 for testing before. I generally don’t regard European tracks as classics merely because of being in this specific continent. Not all European ones are exactly like that.

    1. Did anyone see the tweet from the guy who has spotted track maps for Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola have recently been added to the F1 website?

      Hockenhiem article from last year now shows Nurburgring circuit map:

      Looks like all three are set to be confirmed soon.

      1. Yup, saw it. Seems like they’re going with the (IMO) best layout of Portimao, without the hairpin-ish chicane at T1 (and no chicane at the last corner).

    2. @jerejj Sure i get your point. If it was just Portimao that was added to the calendar then i doubt anone would call it a return of a ‘classic’ circuit. But Nurburgring and Imola are definately classic venues, Mugello was built in the 70s and hosted other series throught time and Portimao although it’s new, it belongs to a country that hosted a few (16) races back in the 50s, 80s-90s so it has some history with the sport.

      All of them are ‘classic’ in terms of history with motorsport in general and because they are ‘old-school’ racetracks, that blast through forests or parks, follow the actual elevation changes of the surroundings, with gravel run-offs and would probably have great atmosphere if they allowed fans…as opposed to 4 random modern tracks in Asia for example (no offence to Asia, it’s just the usual pattern over the last few years), all of them designed by Tilke, all of them outside of big destiantion cities, yet built in the middle of a flat piece of land that looks like they’re built in the middle of nowhere, all of them with 100-mile tarmac run-offs and with mega grandstands built that only about half of them are filled and all/most of them built in countries that have little/no history to motorsport (frequently in dictatorships) and want to probably just show off their country.

      1. @black but quite a few seem to be using the term “classic venues” as if those venues have been on the F1 calendar for years and have been used for ages, when Mugello and Portimao have no such history in F1.

        Equally, if you say that Portimao “belongs to a country that hosted a few (16) races” and therefore a track in Portugal can be considered a “classic” venue, then do China (16 races), Bahrain (15 races), or Malaysia (19 races) get to be defined as “classic” races, given they have spent as much time, if not longer, on the F1 calendar than Portugal did?

  4. Bernie deserves a statue ….
    … in Bristol.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      24th July 2020, 9:11

      … at the bottom of the river

      1. …read the article, it is easy.

        1. Sometimes you need to read more than just the article to understand a comment.

      2. @petebaldwin

        These reactions show how poisonous and absurd this debate is. Bernie talks about how he actually put a stop to and tried to make amends for a racist incident (done by someone else) and how he pulled out of SA because of racism. However, because he opposes ‘woke’ claims, he gets attacked like this.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          24th July 2020, 11:57

          When you’re using Bernie Ecclestone to back up your opinion, you know you’re fighting a losing battle….

          1. @petebaldwin

            I’m not using Bernie to back up my opinion, but to point out how poisonous you argue. That you can’t tell the difference is in itself telling.

        2. @aapje, rather the opposite of an ‘absurd debate’.
          I accept that people might dislike my use of sarcasm, but the purpose is a valid one (IMO of course).
          Rather, than blindly applauding the heroic and virtuous stories Bernie likes to tell about himself, it is worthwhile to assess all his actions before determining how to rate his legacy.

          1. @coldfly

            You are not assessing, just bashing.

            Bernie is a flawed person, like all of us. Probably more flawed than many of us, although I wonder how many of us would have actually intervened like he did.

            But this kind of dehumanizing behavior is not virtuous.

          2. You clearly missed it (again), @aapje.
            I’m not bashing Bernie. In fact it is you who called Bernie a ‘flawed person’, whereas I merely questioned if the stories he tells about himself are ‘the whole truth’ (just read it again).

            And questioning if (or sarcastically suggesting that) somebody deserves a statue is not at all ‘dehumenising’ him.

          3. @coldfly

            There is no mention of an statue in the article, so you were the one who brought it up unprompted, to suggest that there should be riots involving Bernie. You were not making a point about whether Bernie deserves a statue that he himself thinks he deserves, because Bernie didn’t say that.

            As for the ‘whole truth,’ no one says that. But you are very far off with your defense of what you did.

          4. You appear to be a very stubborn person, aapje, but I doubt that I’m the first person to tell you that. And your efforts to dig an ever deeper hole to stick your head in are cringeworthy.
            I strongly suggest you carefully read all previous comments, and look up the context if not immediately clear, before you attack your keyboard. Otherwise you will only continue to reinforce your own beliefs.
            – the ‘deserves a statue’ is in reference to the virtuous deeds Bernie did according to himself (It feels like talking to kindergarten kids, that I even have to explain this).
            – I never suggested ‘riots’; it’s not even relevant in this case. You totally missed the sarcasm I put in my original comment. I explained it in my previous reply (always ruins it when you have to explain sarcasm).

            PS very common for stubborn people to feel that all discussions are a ‘fight’, attack and defence. I merely explained the previous comments as you clearly missed the point.

  5. And you just have that innate confidence in him that he’s going to be able to go out and give you the laps that you need, the lap in qualifying or the laps in the race.

    Have I watched some other races? The guy has scored 0 points in 24 F1 starts. In driver standings he was last in 2019 and currently last in 2020. Yes, the qualy laps in Syria (lol) and in Hungary were excellent, but what was the result? He made awful starts, flied into the gravel and had dreadful race pace. What strong “laps in the race” are they talking about? I don’t get it.

    1. @mrtn I like him and I’m sure he is good but I must agree with you, I don’t know where do they come with this stuff.

    2. Well, you should take the source info account.. Who has little to show for as well

  6. It is no use Bernie. You are making too much sense for most people to undertand.

  7. Did none of the commenters above actually read the Sun article about Bernie? Honestly, you’re all missing the blindingly obvious question, if Jochen Rindt was in the car when Bernie had his Damascus moment, then why did the SA GP carry on for a further 23 years? Hint, Rindt died in 1970 and the GP was only pulled in 1993.

    If more people bothered to read the available information then there would be less nonsense spouted on both sides of this debate.

    1. Yeah, the usual self-serving twisting of the truth from Bernie. Every time he opens his mouth it feels like he’s still bitter about losing control of the sport, and is always trying to push himself back into the headlines with whatever contrived commentary he can make up to make himself sound better than Liberty.

  8. “Don’t think about what your skin colour is; think about what colour your mind is.
    “We are all humans with the same movements.

    Bernie is right.

    1. No he is not. Bernie doesnt have to think about the colour of his skin. Whereas a black man is reminded of it frequently. Still we have to congratulate Bernie. He saw some racism and he was so upset about it he pulled the GP over a decade later.

      1. Lewis is only black because systemic racism in UK demographic categories. Other colour people’s children who married with white is being called mixed.

        Treating one skin different than others is inherently racist.

  9. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    24th July 2020, 13:40

    I’m sure Russell’s very good but I’m not sure I buy the hype completely yet. He’s shown he’s good to get an underperforming car higher than where it should be and has shrugged off any challenge from either of his team-mates – so he’s obviously good. But the only wheel to wheel action he had with a non-Williams he threw it in the gravel. You could say that’s inexperience or a product of the machine he has, but the guy doesn’t need hyping this hard. Like Albon and Norris this is only his second year in F1. Let him grow and give him the permission to make mistakes without expecting him to be of legendary quality so early or so consistently.

    They’re good – all three of them. F1 already has ridiculous levels of pressure without equating people with barely over a year’s worth of experience to champions or drivers with three times their experience. Do that and they won’t be good for long.

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