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George Russell

Russell opens up on 'eye-opening' moment in first season with Mercedes

There were some low points for Mercedes during the 2022 season, a year in which they struggled to match their rivals. However, it was one of the high points of the year that brought with it a range of mixed emotions for George Russell.

Russell Australia
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George Russell has opened up about the "eye-opening" sense of overwhelm he felt at winning his first F1 race in 2022.

The season was a difficult one for Mercedes, with the squad facing issues on their W13 car that saw them struggle to match the pace of their rivals.

Despite this, a high point came at the penultimate race weekend of the year in Brazil, where Russell claimed victory in the Sprint before going on to clinch his debut Formula 1 race win.

The range of emotions that followed came as something of a surprise to the Briton.

Russell on 'overwhelming' emotions of winning

"One of the most mentally fatiguing moments of my year last year was actually when I won the race in Brazil," Russell told Square Mile.

"Because there were so many emotions that I went through during the race, so many emotions after the race, so much attention from the media and the cameras, so much love and support from friends and families and social media.

"It was almost overwhelming at points and it’s a completely different dynamic. That was quite eye-opening for me, the pressures and the mental toll of winning a race. It's not easy."

Understanding between drivers

On whether the drivers ever discuss matters like this between themselves, Russell explained: "Well, firstly, we're obviously all competitors.

"We're all highly competitive. I wouldn't say there are huge rivalries on the track, but once the helmet's on, you're all there competing to beat one another.

"But there's definitely an element of understanding between all of us, whether that's understanding a person who's struggling for performance personally, whether it's understanding the person who's struggling in their team and the results aren’t there.

"Or even understanding the guy who's winning and the stresses and pressures that come with that."

Russell admits that being an F1 driver is ultimately a unique position to be in, meaning that there is understanding amongst those on the grid.

"I think between all the 20 drivers, we get one another: we're just one of 20, we're the only ones in this position," he added.

"We don't necessarily offer support because the friendships aren't quite that close, maybe between one or two, but definitely there's an understanding."

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