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Why Mugello and not Imola was Russell's "biggest low" of 2020

Why Mugello and not Imola was Russell's "biggest low" of 2020


Why Mugello and not Imola was Russell's "biggest low" of 2020

Why Mugello and not Imola was Russell's "biggest low" of 2020
Ian Parkes

George Russell has revealed that missing out on scoring a point at Mugello was his "biggest low" of last season rather than what unfolded at Imola.

For his second season with Williams, Russell again failed to finish inside the top-10 in a race as opportunities went begging.

In the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello, Russell was 11th of the 12 finishers, with the Briton bitter at slipping from ninth to last at a late restart following a second red-flag incident caused by Lance Stroll's heavy crash.

That was primarily after Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen had been allowed to unlap themselves, so generating heat into their tyres for the restart, unlike Russell whose rubber had cooled.

At Imola for the Emilia Romagna GP, Russell was running 10th when he crashed into a wall while behind the safety car. The 22-year-old is additionally remembered for his crushing moments sat slumped against a fence and thumping his fist into the ground in frustration at what had just unfolded.

Reflecting on his nadir from last season, Russell told GPFans Global: "Mugello was the biggest low in all honesty because, at that point [going into the mid-September event], we probably thought points were not possible last season.

"That was a massive opportunity and losing the way we did, just fully off the line, it was incredibly heartbreaking.

"Whereas in Imola, it was an incredibly odd feeling for me because it was such an unorthodox mistake, let's say.

"It all went away from us so quickly. It was a very different feeling but obviously, those two were two of the lows."

It was not all doom and gloom for Russell with Williams in 2020, however, because at the other end of the spectrum were his qualifying displays, notably his maiden Q2 appearance at the Styrian Grand Prix.

"The highs for me, without a doubt, were some of the qualifying performances," added Russell. "They were incredibly exhilarating.

"Probably that first Q2, in the wet, in Austria, to think that at the time we were a tenth off the pace of Ferrari.

"We didn't realise how difficult Ferrari's season would turn out to be, bearing in mind they finished second the week before, but that was without a doubt the high.

"Then being in the mix with other people, racing each other. I spoke with the team manager from Alfa Romeo and we said it was good we had other people to race against, to give us that competitiveness."


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