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George Russell

Russell: Points with Williams a bigger achievement than Mercedes outing

George Russell has been weighing up how achieving his first points for Williams compares with the huge challenge he faced at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, when he substituted for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes with very short notice.

Russell Hungary 2021
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To news overview © Williams

George Russell admits that earning his first points for Williams is probably a bigger achievement than his short-notice stint at Mercedes during the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

Russell was thrown in at the deep end when Lewis Hamilton was forced to miss the race due to coronavirus, but put in an impressive performance throughout the weekend.

After qualifying on the front row alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas, Russell looked set to claim a debut victory in the Grand Prix before pit-stop issues caused him to fall back down the field. However, he still managed to claim his first points in Formula 1 by finishing in ninth.

Now in his third season at Williams, Russell finally scored his first points for the Grove-based outfit at the Hungarian Grand Prix with a P8 result. This proved to be an emotional moment for the 23-year-old and he believes that it was perhaps a bigger achievement than when he earned his Mercedes points.

"I was thrown in at the deep end then [with Mercedes]," Russell told Auto Motor Und Sport.

"It was incredibly difficult circumstances. But I knew I had the car to do something good. In my mind, I believed it right away.

"Now [at Williams] I know we have to get everything perfect, and even then points are a bit out of reach. It feels like a win. Points with Williams are probably the bigger achievement."

Williams have faced some tough times whilst Russell has been with the team, but the Briton feels that he has learned to cope well with disappointments, just as he did at Sakhir.

"I always try to take the positive out of it and then move on," Russell explained. "I've had a lot of experience with frustration over the last few years. When I think about Imola 2020, Sakhir, the race at Imola this season, Austria...

"I've learned to take the positives. After my only race for Mercedes, of course I was incredibly disappointed. But, I could have done a bad job, made mistakes and finished third. I'm happier about the weekend I had because the performance was right, than finishing third or second and not having delivered.

"I want to be World Champion. You can't let disappointment drag you down because it would affect the next race. And the one after that. You have to deliver consistently, always operate at the limit. You can't change the past. I live in the present and think about the future."

Russell continues to be linked to the possibility of driving for Mercedes in 2022, but it appears that there will be no announcement about his future until after the F1 summer break.

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