Russell sees chance to shine against ‘rusty’ rivals when season starts
Williams’ George Russell sees an opportunity to put points on the board when the season kicks off if he can hit the ground running and take advantage of his “rusty” rivals.
Formula 1 is undergoing a prolonged pause due to the global coronavirus lockdown, with early July now seen as a realistic starting point for the disrupted 2020 season.
Russell believes that a few out-of-practice drivers might struggle out of the box when the action resumes, in which case an opportunity to secure a good result could materialize.
Racing in 2020 ‘absolutely critical’ for Williams
“Usually everybody’s at an incredibly high level,” he said in Formula 1’s latest podcast.
“All the drivers are the best in the world and we’re always racing so much so you just get into this groove. But I think [the delaying of the season] allows people to hopefully get a bit of an advantage when we go back.
“If people are still rusty, if people are going to make mistakes, it’s going to be in the opening few races, so I need to make sure I’m not one of them.
“Also, from the team’s perspective, I need to try and motivate the guys around me to say, ‘Right, this is an opportunity that we’re not really going to get ever again… so let’s make sure we make the most of these opening few races when we get back’.”
To make sure he isn’t among those that might get caught out by the prolonged period of inactivity when the curtain raises, Russell is refining his physical condition in lockdown.
But the Williams charger admits that no regimen or training program will ever deliver the same benefits as racing.
“[The lockdown] just gives myself the chance to nail my fitness even more,” said the 22-year-old.
“But I think for all of us, it’s going to be incredibly hard. You can train as much as you want, but you obviously lose race fitness.
“Running around the garden or doing weights in the gym is not the same as driving at 200mph around Silverstone, and that g-force is going to hit us hard that first practice session when we get back.
“But like I said, I’m doing everything I can to be prepared for that moment.”
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