Russell: Williams must capitalise on rivals' early errors

George Russell believes it will be important for Williams to capitalise on any early mistakes made by its rivals when the Formula 1 season begins after an extended break.

Russell: Williams must capitalise on rivals' early errors

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the opening 10 races of the 2020 season to be called off, F1 is formulating plans to get the campaign underway in Austria at the start of July.

It would mark a return to racing action for the F1 drivers seven months since the 2019 finale in Abu Dhabi, only interrupted by six days of pre-season testing in February.

While some drivers have downplayed how long it will take them to get back into the rhythm of racing despite the extended break, Russell feels it is inevitable that some rust will have set in.

The British youngster feels this could present an opportunity for Williams to take advantage of any mistakes made by its rivals as it looks to bounce back from a point-less 2019.

“When the season gets started, not only us drivers, but the engineers and mechanics, you all get into a bit of a rhythm, you’ve got race after race after race,” Russell said in an interview on Sky Sports F1.

“Everyone in Formula 1 is the best of the best anyway. I’m not just talking drivers, I’m talking as a whole, and then having this much time away, by the time we get back, I think everyone is going to be very rusty.

“People will make mistakes, drivers will make mistakes, engineers, mechanics, everybody will. I think it’s very important to make sure we try and capitalise on those times.

“For people who aren’t going out winning races or scoring points, there will be a big opportunity, or the greatest opportunity to get a good result at the start of the year when people are making those mistakes.”

Read Also:

Russell said it felt “unnatural” for any sportsman to be out of action for so long, but has tried to keep sharp by doing regular training with his physio, who has been living with his family in the UK. 

Teammate Nicholas Latifi agreed that it would be difficult for the whole paddock to get back into routine, but stressed he too had been working hard to prepare for his eventual F1 debut. 

“There will be a lot of rust from all aspects, from the drivers, the mechanics, the teams,” Latifi said.

“I think it’s often overlooked from the fans that from the operational side of things, there’s so many procedures and things that have to be operated flawlessly. When you’re out of the rhythm for so long, it will be a bit difficult to get back into it.

“Winter testing is one of the biggest opportunities for them to iron out all those kinks, especially for us drivers. They’ve got to get back into the rhythm after a winter break.

“Now we have pretty much an extended pre-season. I’m definitely not treating it like a holiday, it’s just a longer pre-season training camp, let’s say.

“It has been weird not knowing when we’re going to get back racing. We’re still training, we’re still ready in case we’re going racing in a few weeks now. It’s obviously that unknown factor, just having to stay sharp.”

shares
comments
Hamilton avoiding Esports but busy “racing himself”

Previous article

Hamilton avoiding Esports but busy “racing himself”

Next article

Monaco 1970: When Brabham crashed on the last lap

Monaco 1970: When Brabham crashed on the last lap
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers George Russell
Teams Williams
Author Luke Smith
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021
The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better Prime

The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better

A rapid ascent through the junior categories meant Yuki Tsunoda's arrival in Formula 1 was always going to be much-hyped. It's not been smooth sailing for Red Bull's latest protege so far, but his confidence has never wavered - something he'll need to rely on to continue his progress into the driver he believes he can be.

Formula 1
Apr 27, 2021