Winning races much more important than taking second in championship – Russell

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In the round-up: George Russell says he is far more interested in winning races than finishing as runner-up in the world championship.

In brief

Russell wants wins, not second in championship

Russell, whose best championship position in F1 is 15th, lies fourth in the standings with six races to go, 16 points behind second-placed Charles Leclerc.

However taking that runner-up spot “doesn’t mean a huge amount,” he admitted. “Nobody remembers who finishes second in the championship.

“If you’re given a choice between winning a couple of races this year and finishing outside the top three, or winning no races and finishing second, I would choose the race wins.

“We’ll take it, we’ll definitely take it for the team, obviously we’re going to try and beat Ferrari in the championship but for me I’m here to win and unfortunately that’s a bit out of reach in terms of the championship.”

No Pau Grand Prix for Euroformula in 2023

The Pau Grand Prix will no longer be part of the Euroformula Open season in 2023. The series revealed its calendar for next year featuring eight rounds at Autodromo do Algarve, Spa-Francorchamps, Hungaroring, Paul Ricard, Red Bull Ring, Monza, Mugello and the Circuit de Catalunya.

F3 test concludes with Colapinto on top

Franco Colapinto, who took two wins in FIA Formula 3 this yer and finished the championship in ninth place, ended the first pre-season test for 2023 on top of the times. The final day of the three-day test at Jerez ran with no red flag interruptions.

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Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

The FIA’s treatment of Colton Herta drew a lot of criticism:

We can all name many drivers with enough superlicence points for F1 that have gone through the FIA’s preferred feeder system who will never get an F1 seat and also do not have talent. There are also the Mazepins of the world who again had enough superlicence points and only got a shot cause of money.

The bottom line is that the teams can vet their own drivers. If AlphaTauri wants to put an IndyCar driver in the seat for a season, or heck for only five races and then swap if he sucks… they should fully be able to do so. It’s their risk and their constructors points and stake.

This entire situation is such a farce. It’s entirely bureaucratic and simply based on the FIA protecting it’s incredibly ineffective feeder system full of rich pay drivers.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to James Brickles, Wout, Oel F1 and Kennyg!

On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Las Vegas held its most recent F1 race, Michele Alboreto won and Keke Rosberg clinched the world championship. The race was held on a temporary circuit laid out in the car park of the Caesar’s Palace casino – next year F1 will race on a new street circuit not far away from where the previous event was held

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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29 comments on “Winning races much more important than taking second in championship – Russell”

  1. The super license came about to stop the hiring of very young unproven drivers, primarily due to how Young Verstappen was. Now with hindsight Verstappen has done exceptional and wasn’t really a problem. That however might not be the case with the next young driver that enters the sport and hence why some controls were added.

    For me I think they have over designed the requirement, perhaps intentionally to bias FIA sponsored series.

    As is suggested by COTD, I’d support moving to let the decision sit with the teams, with perhaps a caveat that all F1 drivers must be over 18. All the current system does is force participation in F2 to get your shot.

    1. All the current system does is force participation in F2 to get your shot.

      Is that really so bad?

      1. If you’re based in Europe then probably not.

        1. F1 is based in Europe….

          1. I reckon you get paid more for F1 than F2 and hence uplifting your life to move is less of a barrier if you get there.

      2. In my experience, monopoly usually is bad (except for those who make profit from it). The board game is the exception. Less choice for drivers, less choice for us viewers, when they destroy all other series.

    2. @slowmo the super license has existed for decades. The reforms to the system recently were intended to encourage participation in the FIA’s feeder series, hence the paltry allocation of points to Indy series.

      1. @frood19 thanks for the correction I didn’t know its history just the reforms that happened. Its one of the less interesting rules area in the spot :-).

    3. @slowmo I disagree wholeheartedly. I have found Verstappen to be one of the most dangerous drivers we’ve seen and it’s only because of sheer luck and safety advancements in the sport that he hasn’t caused an accident that was life threatening.

      In the old days, he would not have won a single race as he’d have been injured or dead.

      Between Maldonado and Verstappen in terms of safety, I would pick Maldonado as the safer driver.

      1. @freelittlebirds I happen to think your viewpoint is extreme but you’re entitled to your opinion. I think few of the current F1 drivers would drive the same way they do now if they were driving cars from the 70’s and 80’s.

  2. Well said cotd, was thinking exactly the same.

  3. Thinking pretty much the same @skipgamer. Even if Herta was unsuccessful in races, perhaps a debate in the US ( or even globally) about who should have been in would be a good thing. The “closed shop” mentality just won’t cut it these days.
    On a more disturbing note have I been hacked or has somebody done something naughty? If I click on COTD authors name to view profile I am redirected to a square pie order site!🥴

    1. @jjohn you’ve not been hacked – it’s that this site allows people to register a user account and to then embed a link into that user name, which that poster has been exploiting. It’s not the first time either – you’re just lucky that those who have done so to now have usually put relatively innocuous links there until now.

      1. Many thanks anon.

  4. I think there needs to be a different metric used in terms of how super license points are awarded as using championship standings alone doesn’t always give you the whole picture.

    When looking at Herta he’s finished 3rd/5th/10th in the Indycar points standings. But they don’t tell you that Andretti Autosport has been slipping backwards and that in 2 of the 3 years he was the highest placed driver from the team in the standings. They also don’t tell you about the fantastic drives he’s put in to at times drag a poor handling car to good results and even wins while showing good racecraft and car control.

    Looking at championship standings should be a factor but i think there also needs to be a way of factoring in other elements to form a full picture on a drivers ability and suitability for F1 because i don’t think the system as it’s setup currently is really fit for purpose.

    I mean it didn’t stop Nikita Mazepin who i think most would agree was not good enough for F1 (Something that was obvious before he signed with Haas) while it is stopping Colton Herta who i think most who have seen him race would say definitely is good enough to be given an opportunity in F1.

    1. Throwing an idea out there.

      In Indycar they have the rookie orientation program for the Indy 500, Why not adapt that concept for F1.

      Creat some tests that can be run in the simulator and then move onto real world track tests. If they pass then grant them a provisional super license that is reviewed every 3-4 races over the first half of (Maybe even over the entire) rookie season.

      I think with the right set of things been looked at it would be fairly clear fairly quickly if a driver is good enough or not. I mean how quickly was it clear that Raikkonen and Max were good enough and that Mazepin wasn’t with just normal pre season tests and there 1st race weekends?

      1. In Indycar they have the rookie orientation program for the Indy 500, Why not adapt that concept for F1.

        As I suggested in another thread:
        take last year’s F1 car (no development costs in the year),
        run a “sprint” and only allow drivers who haven’t yet raced in F1 that meet a minimum standard.
        Borrow from Indy with a title of “F1 Lites” (part of me cringes at that spelling)

        That means:
        Domenicali can have his sprints (but they really will be races, because the juniors are actually competing for something),
        The F1 purists aren’t annoyed by silly short runs pretending to be a meaningful race,
        All those F1 hopefuls can demonstrate they are capable of driving an F1 car.
        How many races per season for “Lites”?

        1. How many races per season for “Lites”?

          If an F1 car is racing, it will be the current one and it will be driven by the lead drivers. That’s what F1 viewers want to see.
          If you wouldn’t want to watch something ‘inferior’ what makes you think that other people want something inferior?

          Obviously, they won’t be transporting old cars around the world, nor maintaining two expensive racing programs concurrently and risking the cars with junior drivers. Just for some secondary ‘prize’ that doesn’t really bring them any return.

          If you want to watch something at an F1 event that isn’t F1 and includes junior drivers, try F2 and F3.
          They already have them, and sprints too (which are great, by the way).

    2. When looking at Herta he’s finished 3rd/5th/10th in the Indycar points standings. But they don’t tell you that Andretti Autosport has been slipping backwards and that in 2 of the 3 years he was the highest placed driver from the team in the standings

      By the same token you would place drivers in Williams F1 higher in the years that the team slipped backwards in the standings.

      In that case of Herta/Andretti, who is to say that the fault lies with the team and not the drivers?
      This is the same Andretti Autosport that want to run an F1 team isn’t it?

    3. I think there needs to be a different metric used in terms of how super license points are awarded as using championship standings alone doesn’t always give you the whole picture.

      This makes me laugh.
      It’s a valid point and I agree with it – but it’s really amazing the number of people who argue the exact opposite when it comes to drivers already in F1 and the results/championship positions.
      Results mean everything… Winning in the fastest car is primarily a result of being the best driver… Having the team tell your team mate to pull over and let you through is because you are much better driver than they are…
      And so on.

  5. I don’t quite get the sudden footage from the future LV track site that Mclaren’s official Twitter account also posted.
    Some event, perhaps?

    COTD makes a good point, but I’d be okay with abolishing the points system altogether with the minimum age requirement of 18, proper racing speed driving in an F1 car for at least 300 km, & rule studying being the only eligibility requirements.

  6. Super License is there for safety, a point that seems to have entirely passed COTD by.

    1. And yet Maldonado got one. You could maybe argue its there as a legal protection to say they at least have some checks in place but its not checking whether drivers are safe or not.

      1. @slowmo Maldonado also won a Grand Prix…many others have not. Erratic he may have been, but quick he certainly was not.

        1. Argh…

          “Erratic he may have been, but that certainly does not mean he was not quick.”

          1. We desperately need an edit feature.

          2. @geemac I didn’t say he wasn’t quick, I was just saying he was unsafe yet still got a license. His win had more to do with the tyre lottery that year than his individual speed though imo. I can’t think of a single other performance where he excelled but then again it maybe just I wasn’t looking for them.

  7. I think Herta would have been just fine in an Alpha Tauri, and the FIA point system doesn’t award enough points to IndyCar.
    That being said, I’m amused that Americans – who have recently discovered F1 – are outraged that they can’t drop a driver in F1 and have to follow the rules in place.

  8. Hmm, 2nd in the championship vs race wins. If the team really wanted to win, then perhaps they needed to pit Lewis instead of dropping him to 4th.

    I agree with Russell that wins are more important as they help lock 2nd place. It’s easier to come second in the WCC if you have the pace to genuinely win a race or two.

Comments are closed.