Alonso admired Russell’s performances watching 2020 season

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso has praised George Russell, saying he admired his performances last year while Alonso was watching from home.

In brief

Russell “pulling something special every weekend” – Alonso

Alonso and Russell swapped helmets after the Monaco Grand Prix, with Alonso signing the one he gave Russell with a message: “George, you rock! Future world champ.”

Paired up for the press conference yesterday in Baku, Alonso said that it wasn’t empty praise – or politeness to the man sitting next to him – but a genuine opinion based on assessing Russell’s performance over 2020, when Alonso was not racing in F1.

“[I’m] definitely very impressed. It’s not that he’s here’s sitting [next to me] but I said, also, last year when I was following the sport at home, I think he has been very, very impressive.

“The performance we saw in the Williams that we know that is not a competitive package; a little bit better this year, but not in the last two and [despite that] I think he was pulling something special every weekend, that was nice to watch at home.

“Then the opportunity with the Mercedes, I think was good enough to show not only the people that we were watching at home. I think it was a real opportunity for everyone to watch what a driver with the talent of George can do with a winning car, nearly won the first race and the first opportunity he had. So that I think it was proof for many people, not only for few that we knew how good he was. I think that race in Bahrain was enough to open [the eyes of] many, many millions of people.”

Sainz “still angry about Saturday” on Monaco podium

The consequences of Leclerc’s crash rankled with Sainz
Carlos Sainz Jnr has said that although he was still preoccupied with the frustrations of qualifying post-race in Monaco, he has since become more proud of taking his first podium for Ferrari.

“At the beginning, particularly on Sunday, I didn’t get much of a buzz. I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I probably should have.

“I was still pretty angry about Saturday and I was still regretting not being able to be in the front row, at least of that qualifying due to what happened on the circumstances. So on Sunday, I still felt like second was not enough, for the pace we had that weekend.

“But it was a bit of a relief at least to score the podium, to finish second, give the team a good result. Then as the day started to pass, I started to reflect a bit more on it and I started to be a bit more proud, a bit more happy of the weekend in general.”

Raikkonen trying to “limit the bad days” in slower Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen has said that despite frustrations with Alfa Romeo’s performance this year, the key to a season in any position on the F1 grid is to take opportunities where you can.

“You always try to do your best and that’s all you can do, and especially when you’re in the fight in the front. Whatever the situation, you try to make the best end result and obviously in some races, a bit better than others, and it depends on many things.

“Obviously. when you have somebody close to you in a championship, it’s not just look at what he does to try to do it. [It’s about your] personal best and as a team and then hopefully that plays out in a good way for you in the end of the year.

“But there are still many races to go. And I think try to limit the bad days and if it’s a bad day then you still try to score points and it will pay off.”

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Comment of the day

Lando Norris characteristically downplayed McLaren’s chances in Baku but Wsrgo says that a lack of errors could put them ahead of Mercedes or Red Bull around the Azeri streets.

Unlike Ferrari, who are reliable contenders for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory every time of asking, McLaren, with their operational strength and an in-form driver in Norris, will be more than capable of taking a win if they’re anywhere close to Red Bull and Mercedes.
@Wsrgo

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On this day in motorsport

Bourdais continued his winning ways in Champ Car today in 2006
  • 15 years ago today Sebastien Bourdais extended his Champ Car points lead with victory in Milwaukee

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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12 comments on “Alonso admired Russell’s performances watching 2020 season”

  1. I do wonder…..are Alpine courting Russell?

    1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      4th June 2021, 4:24

      Don’t think it’s going to matter. Seems more and more likely that Bottas is out at the end of the year.

    2. ian dearing
      4th June 2021, 8:10

      Possibly, if Bottas stays with Merc next year. In the same way they courted Bottas last year to be their No1 driver according to some. Ocon, Bottas, Russell; all from the same stable.

    3. No, this is Alonso stabbing Lewis. Remember… all is political when dealing with Alonso

      1. That wouldn’t be nonsense, if it wasn’t for the fact that Alonso has praised Hamilton non-stop since they were team-mates.

        This includes

        1) Running up the pitlane in 2008 (remember McLaren were relegated to the back after ‘spygate’) to congratulate Lewis’s first title

        2) Constantly citing in 2010-13 the Lewis was the driver he feared – despite Vettel and the RB having the better car

  2. oh 2006 when champ cars were long and heavy and f1 cars small and light.

  3. ‘Most insulting was Piquero and Olvey’s using the name of Black F1 star Lewis Hamilton: “F1, largely at the behest of its most successful and popular driver, Lewis Hamilton, was among the first sports to tackle the issue of racism.” They cite a hashtag campaign “to bring attention to and combat all forms of racism,” having a “moment” before every race to celebrate diversity and inclusion, and “commemorating with shirts and racetrack markings.”

    To state the obvious, shirts, racetrack markings and hashtag campaigns are a joke compared to the serious, real-life harms F1 poses to Black Miami Gardens residents.’

    Tough crowd.

  4. You spend enough time in America, someone there will call you racist.

    In all seriousness, that article is written really aggressively. It almost reads like a call to arms.

    I hope America can get over this whole mindset, it doesn’t help anyone.

    1. I have a feeling that the race won’t go ahead without some troubles..

  5. Not worth trying at all costs, not to mention easier said than done because of other F1 races scheduled around. Only one driver did Indy 500 over a long-term period, so unlikely any other current F1 driver would suddenly do temporary racing in another category while in F1. A valid reason would be if Indy 500 and Monaco GP directly clashed, but this has never happened anyway due to the time difference.

    Not that I was hugely skeptical about Mexican GP before, but now even more confident of it going ahead as planned.

  6. Regarding the Miami Herald piece, are the environmental impact assessment documents available for the public anywhere?

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