Russell on how to evaluate drivers

Photo: Williams F1

George Russell says both Williams and Mercedes can adequately evaluate his performance even though he’s constantly at the back of the field in an uncompetitive car.

Russell, a Mercedes junior driver, has struggled at the back of the field since the beginning of the season. The only person he was consistently able to beat is his Williams team-mate Robert Kubica. Fellow rookies Alexander Albon and Lando Norris are having a much better season in Toro Rosso and McLaren respectively, even though they were both beaten by Russell in the 2018 Formula 2 championship.

“I only need the praise from Williams and from Mercedes,” Russell said.

“And I’d prefer those two guys to be happy with me rather than the media be happy with me. From my side those are the two that will make a difference with my career.

“But the better they’re doing [Albon and Norris] the more it helps my career as well.

“At the moment they’ve [Williams and Mercedes] all got all of the information in front of them, regardless of your pace you know if you’ve done a good job or not.

“In F2 I’ve qualified third or fourth and knew I should have been on pole so that’s not a good job, and times where I’ve qualified third or fourth in F2 and known that’s been the maximum.”

The Briton went on to explain how the performance of drivers who are fighting at the back of the field can be evaluated.

“Obviously you never know what the full potential is, but looking at the videos [you can see] if a driver has maximised it.

“If he goes out and locks up at the first corner and loses two-tenths compared to the previous lap you know that isn’t the maximum he could have done.

“But if he did all of his best sectors, if every corner was the fastest of the weekend, the lap looked good from the onboard, then you know that’s pretty much the pace of the car.

“But it’s like that with anything. How do you know the laps the top guys are doing are the quickest?

“You only have one person really to compare against and it’s the same for everybody.”


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