George Russell, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Russell not letting praise from top F1 drivers “get into my head”

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In the round-up: George Russell says he’s not letting the praise he’s received from top drivers in Formula 1 go to his head.

What they say

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are among those who’ve named Russell a potential star of the future:

I obviously really appreciate these comments without a shadow of a doubt. But it’s almost sort of background noise, really, because I know I have to continue to perform week in, week out and as fantastic as it is to get a pat on the back and the praise from these guys, I’ve got to back that up with the job I do on track.

So I’ve always tried not letting comments like this get into my head or anything. I’m doing this for myself and my family. And the biggest amount of pressure I have is from myself and not from anybody else.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Start, Albert Park, 2019
2021 F1 calendar: Full 23-race schedule
Formula 1 tracks have become too similar, says @Stefmeister:

A gripe I’ve had for a while now is how same-y the calendar has got the past 15-ish years. The circuits all have similar characteristics, They follow similar design traits with similar run-offs and similar surfaces among other things. You go back 20-30 years and each circuit felt different with it’s own characteristics and challenges, Some which came from the layout itself but others which came from the track surface.

Hungary for example used to be really bumpy with a low grip surface that offered a different challenge to others, Monaco and other street circuits tended to be similar. Yet now they all have very similar surfaces in terms of offering good grip and been fairly smooth and if a track gets a bit bumpy the resurface it in those areas to remove them. Even Monaco and other street circuits are resurfaced regularly so lack that aspect of what those types of circuits used to offer.
@Stefmeister

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On this day in F1

  • 45 years ago today one of F1’s great bombshell driver moves occured: Two-times world champion Emerson Fittipaldi signed for Copersucar

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  • 40 comments on “Russell not letting praise from top F1 drivers “get into my head””

    1. Looks Ronnie O’Sullivan’s not going to be a popular chappie.

      …he must be racist as well ..surely.

      Hahaha.

      1. Can’t recognise how dominant the car and team is without someone taking it that direction…

      2. Sullivan does not understand F1.

        1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          21st November 2020, 7:21

          He does follow motorsport, I’m sure I remember him racing in a one-make Volkswagen race at Silverstone quite a few years ago.

          1. @jackisthestig Yes thats a racing class where they all drive the same car. So it makes sense that he can’t comprehend how much Hamilton actually helps the team perform better and how his input makes the car go faster.

      3. Jose Lopes da Silva
        21st November 2020, 8:10

        I never heard British people saying that Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jenson Button won their titles because they had the best car.

        The problem with Hamilton is what always has been: the rap, the tatoos, the whatever against the conservative world of motorsport. Obviously, the post-Floyd made it worst. It’s politics, not sport.

        Hamilton is obviously a much better driver than any of those last 3 English champions, but we’ve past the “praise Our Champion” stage, because we don’t recognise him as Our. Anyway, if it is in the Daily Star, it’s popular.

        1. I think part of that is the narrative of the “plucky beit underdog”. Mansell, Hill and Button only won 1 title, so I think that sticks in people’s heads more that they nabbed a title against the odds, rather than the facts of the season. Probably also because most people wouldn’t expect Mansell to triumph over Prost and Senna, or Hill to triumph over Schumacher.
          I very much remember Hamilton’s first title fitting this narrative too, partly cos of his age, but also the tight battle. But Brits don’t really like folk getting too successful!

        2. @jose

          Well said, its good to hear a more dispassionate view than you get from a lot on here and I include myself. You’re either a fanboy if you praise him or a hater if you dont, or worse. But representation is v important and theres plenty of white males for white males to look up to. Not so many like Lewis in any sport bar football.

          Sulivans good at running his mouth but most people recognise that you dont end up in the best car and maintain that level if you are not part of the reason the car is so good. We will see but we will have to wait till he goes to appreciate his part. At least some people will, a lot already get it.

        3. I wasn’t following F1 and Mansell and Hill won, but I definitely remember people complaining that Button wasn’t good enough to be World Champion and only won because he had the best car (at least at the start of the season).

          There’s a simple rule:
          If you like a driver, then their wins are all entirely down to their special skill. Yes they’ve got a good car, but it’s because all the teams are fighting to sign the driver, and then the driver is then able to offer amazing insights to develop the car.
          If you don’t like a driver, then their wins are all down to the car and they are only managing to beat their team mate because of favouritism in the team.

          1. If you like a driver, then their wins are all entirely down to their special skill. ….. If you don’t like a driver, then their wins are all down to the car.

            I know and it’s just incredible how basic and utterly idiotic it is.

            People were always questioning why I was into motorsport and I just didn’t get what they meant, but finally realized its reputation is not far from football with the most basic of fans and after that stopped telling anybody. The ironic thing is that my original impression and part of the attraction with F1 was the sense of chivalry and gentlemanliness from reading books from the old days as a kid. I wonder when it all changed.

            1. Social media destroyed nuance.

            2. As a I kid I remember there were two parties around Prost and Senna. Nota social media…

            3. Yes I think it started with Prost and Senna

      4. @jaymenon10 Omg wait for it. This will quickly be a 50+ comments thread with lots of clicks but then that’s probably the intention.

        Although I don’t expect Ronnie to develop stockholm syndrome like others who have been bullied on social media after having dared speak less the flattering about the great one.

      5. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and and if everyone agreed life would be a bit dull. However… lewis is the now statistically the greatest driver in the highest Formula of motorsport. Seems many Britains just want to tear the guy down. My fellow countrymen are a strange bunch. They crave sporting success but when somebody genuinely is the very best at their chosen discipline they just want to tear them down. Chris Froome, Jo Calzaghe, Tyson Fury ( up for debate), Lewis Hamilton… just off the top of my head, are all sporting greats but are given bad press and the dumb masses swallow what they are fed by the daily mail, Sun etcetc. Makes me think they deserve our Football team, rugby team… and Ronnie O’Sullivan. 😀

        1. @deanr Because it couldn’t possibly be an honest appraisal of the situation. It just has to be a wish to put others down.

          Just like you now then.

    2. Interesting that F1 do the fan survey AFTER they’ve announced the race.

      You’d have thought they might want to gauge feedback before they committed to it.

      1. What would it matter if they had?
        Money beats sentiment in their line of work.

        To be honest, I was expecting some editorial comment here suggesting everyone should vote a certain way.

      2. After all. They will say they made a survey and whatever the result is they will say “Survey shows that fans are excited for a race in Saudi Arabia as are we.”

      3. @dbradock They want to know how to phrase the press release. It’s why I stopped using their site.

    3. Circuits could look different to each other just by simply painting the kerbs in different colors or having they’re own sponsors. Seems like F1 is actually trying to make them look all the same !

      1. They would look like different variations of Paul Ricard. No thanks 😂

    4. Mick Schumacher needed 1.5 season in f2, he was slow of the mark in f3 also. I think he is a risky choise for haas for next year.

      1. No worries. Haas can make up any deficit with their (not)in-house aero parts and spotty pitstops.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          21st November 2020, 9:58

          …and with a Mazepin in the sister car.

      2. It’s okay for a rookie to need some time to adjust, that’s why he’s at Haas, to learn without too much pressure. After that year of learning, he’s become a pretty darn solid driver in F2, after all

    5. I chose ‘neither positive nor negative’ because I don’t know what to expect at this point. I feel quite indifferent towards the event.

      The Daily Star post, though. Not the first time that a driver has had a considerable equipment advantage in F1, which is, of course, a result of the importance of machinery on this highest level of circuit-racing.

    6. For Russell, I think it is very dangerous to highly praise drivers that haven’t really shown yet.

      It reminds me a bit about Button in the 2000 and then after a few seasons people say otherwise because people have lost their bet, then sadly the new kid on the block gets media-killed.
      Button is the great story, but how many times in the last 20 years have I heard that the next kid is championship material
      ? A dozen times!

      1. I too thought Russell was a future star, but lately there’s been more mistakes than I’d have liked.

        But probably it’ll anyway be him, Leclerc and Verstappen for the future championships.

        1. You’re putting Russell in with Leclerc and Verstappen !! *picks self off floor*

          Give me one example in the race that he has done anything, ANYTHING to warrant this?

          Theres been nothing, in fact the reverse, hes lacked bravery, bottled it when well placed for a point and goes only 1 way in races and not just when he gets to q2. A 1 lap qually specialist he may be but to what end? Other teams have hardly been falling over themselves to sign him. Mercedes did a due diligence when re-signing Bottas but he was nowhere near getting the seat.

          If I was to place money it would be on him being out of a seat within 2 seasons not winning WDCs, ever.

          1. @tonymansell I never put him on their level, but as a Mercedes driver he is line to go there once Hamilton retires and if the team again go for another Bottas type wingman team mate he will in all likelihood be champion.

          2. Winning F2 in his first season?

    7. Cheap swipe aside (and a suggestion that a guy playing DARTS deserves more credit), I don’t think in theory that O’Sullivan’s views are wrong.

      Even between, say, football and tennis… a tennis player is all alone, hitting the same ball as his rival, using fairly the same equipment. In football there are 11 of them playing in the field, if Messi has a relatively bad day they could still win…

      Not that I rate snooker highly either, but my point is, every sport has its own complexity. Being sucessful in any of them is hard. Lewis Hamilton didn’t become a 7 time world champion overnight, he pushed all his life to reach there… and before taking a swipe at someone’s achievements, maybe it’s better to look at what his collegues, who know the name of hte game, say about them…

      1. @fer-no65 The thing is though that the truly great drivers help the engineers with feedback to make their car faster and motivate their team to perform better.

        Plus indeed that keeping up this relentless level of consistency is not easy to achieve. Something O’Sullivan would know since he has his ups and downs too and not at the constant top like Hamilton is.

    8. One driver got rid of his private jet, another acquires one.
      No one asked VER to consider his carbon footprint? 😆

      1. If the jet changed hands the netto result is zero.

    9. O sulkivan neither knows nor understands f1. Its a constructor championship and a driver championship. Playing tennis is not a team sport the way f1 or motor sport is. Gosh can people just give credit where credit is due and stop trying to belittle the achievements both lewis and mercedese have accomplished together.

    10. People like to root for the underdog. Mercedes is the opposite of an underdog. Mercedes is more like the biblical Goliath. So it is more like you have Mike Tyson beating up Victoria Beckham every race weekend, leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    11. who gives a damn about what a snooker player thinks about an f1 driver? that’s just ridiculous.
      might as well ask some muppet on the street, his answer would be just as qualified. if i’d have to think which sport has the least in common with f1, snooker would be high up on the list.

    Comments are closed.