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Russell ready to "ignore the pain" to fill Hamilton's boots

Russell ready to "ignore the pain" to fill Hamilton's boots

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Russell ready to "ignore the pain" to fill Hamilton's boots

Russell ready to "ignore the pain" to fill Hamilton's boots

George Russell has revealed he will be going through the pain barrier this weekend in his attempt to fill the sizeable race boots vacated by Lewis Hamilton.

Russell replaces Hamilton for the Sakhir Grand Prix after the seven-time champion tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after his victory on Sunday in the Bahrain GP.

But with the 22-year-old considerably taller than Hamilton, Russell has found the W11 a tight fit, meaning he will have to wear a size smaller pair of boots.

Asked how it felt inside the Mercedes cockpit, the British driver who has been racing for Williams all season, revealed: ”It was definitely a tight squeeze.

“I spoke to Bono [race engineer Pete Bonnington] and he said ‘I’m sure we can make some mods… to your body.’ I’m not too sure that’s what I was thinking!

“My size 11 feet were a struggle, so I’m also going to have to wear a size lower shoe than would be ideal, so that’s slightly uncomfortable but I am sure I can ignore the pain to get this opportunity.”

Russell has prior knowledge of the team after testing for them in the past, but while he knows the crew he has not driven the current car and revealed he has not even been in the simulator for two years.

He conceded he faces a challenge to get up to speed this weekend but said he is looking forward to his steep learning curve.

“It’s going to be incredibly difficult,” he said. “Valtteri has been pushing Lewis a huge amount over the years, I know it’s not going to be an easy task, coming in.

“Any driver, when you’re in the groove, you’re integrated into the team, I know the level I was at with Williams just having spent two years in the same car with my same engineers, same mechanics.

“Changing suddenly, there are so many new things to learn. I’ve no expectations, no targets, just build up to it over Friday, learn as much as I can, enjoy it, and just do my best.”

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