George Russell: Adversity taught me resilience


George Russell is considered one of the most promising drivers of his generation: before Formula 1, he won all the championships in which he participated, and at Williams he achieved better results than the machine allowed.

George Russell: “It didn’t take long for me to adapt to Williams because I was in a ‘it’s the way it is and there’s nothing I can do about it’ mentality.” I don’t think about what I can’t change and try to make the most of a difficult situation. I think it helps me get stronger.

Of course, I want to become a winner, a world champion, and in Williams I constantly had to fight for positions at the back of the peloton. In 2020, everything went better than in 2019, but it still wasn’t enough for us.

When I first went to the second part of the qualification, we were celebrating success with the team. However, over time you get used to such results, and you want to reach the final. We were very happy when I qualified in the top ten for the first time, but then there was a desire to go to the finals in all qualifications. Until you become a champion, you will never be satisfied with what you have achieved. I am grateful that at Williams I was able to study without drawing attention to myself. I tried to prepare as best as possible for the moment when I will have a car that allows me to achieve my goal.

At the 2020 Sakhira Grand Prix, George Russell replaced an ill Lewis Hamilton and worked with Mercedes during the race weekend for the first time. Then many expected him to win, but the weekend was unsuccessful for the team. The British rider said that those problems taught him a lot.

“Not only did I get the experience at Mercedes, but other lessons as well,” says Russell. – The ability to cope with disappointment and win back is part of life and sports with a high level of competition. As you know, it is impossible to win the title in one race – this can only be done during the season. There will always be difficult racing weekends, there will be successes and failures. But if you can’t bounce back after losses, you’ll ruin everything for yourself and the team. You need to deal with disappointments, draw conclusions and move forward.

Now I am much better prepared to deal with such problems. In my opinion, those who have an easy career or life have a harder time coping with difficulties. That’s why I’m grateful to have been in difficult situations a few times – it helped me become more resilient. I would like to win the race in Sakhir, but there should be other memorable moments in my career.

I want to become a versatile racer so that when I look back 20 years later, I can say: “I had a very successful career, there are reasons for every result, and the difficulties helped me become a stronger racer.” I believe that the race in Bahrain, where I missed the victory, will help me become stronger. If I had won, it would have been like a fairy tale, and I might not have appreciated such an achievement so highly.

George Russell added that he supports Lando Norris in his quest to speak openly about psychological problems: “You need to talk openly about mental health, especially for men. People see it as a sign of weakness, but I think the opposite is true: you show your strength if you can talk about these topics.

I can’t say that I doubted myself, but I had moments of frustration and difficulty in coping with difficult times in my professional career, which sometimes spilled over into my personal life. We are all so emotional that if something upsets us professionally, then it goes into our personal lives, and practically we spiral down. It seems to me that we should immediately cope with these difficulties, and not hide from them. I am grateful that I experienced those emotions – without them I would not have learned to cope with failures.


Source: Формула 1 на F1News.ru by www.f1news.ru.

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