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Russell "comfortable" in spotlight despite Mercedes scrutiny

Russell "comfortable" in spotlight despite Mercedes scrutiny

F1 News

Russell "comfortable" in spotlight despite Mercedes scrutiny

Russell "comfortable" in spotlight despite Mercedes scrutiny
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

George Russell has insisted he is "comfortable" with the exposure given by his potential move to Mercedes.

Media attention has focused on the vacant second seat at Mercedes with the chance to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2022 between Russell and current Silver Arrow Valtteri Bottas.

Russell stepped up to Mercedes for a one-off appearance at last season's Sakhir Grand Prix after Hamilton was ruled out of the race when he tested positive for Covid.

Asked by GPFans Global how easy it has been to handle being in the spotlight, Russell replied: "It's definitely a new experience having to handle the extra media scrutiny and a higher profile.

"It's something I knew would come with the job. Obviously, it was a step up from all the races prior to the Sakhir Grand Prix and then following.

"But I've been prepped for it relatively well. I've never been thrown in at the deep end or outside of my comfort zone.

"So I feel this has been a slow learning process over the course of these years. I feel pretty comfortable with it.

"As sportsmen and women, you're expected to perform excellently on track, then you're expected to go in front of the camera and be politically correct, or charismatic, or show personality, show all of these things."

F1 drivers not meant to "show weakness"

Russell explained how difficult it is for F1 drivers to withdraw negativity after a tough session because of how such feelings can be portrayed whilst also pointing to the effect scrutiny can have on a driver.

"If you're in a tough one you're not meant to show disappointment because that shows weakness," said Russell.

"We are racing drivers and we drive around the track as fast as we can. That's our number one duty.

"As a lawyer's job is to defend whatever case to the best of their ability, or a person working at the shop behind the counter taking the cheques and what not. That's their sole duty.

"There's so much more that comes with it, that we're expected to handle as well as we handle our main job.

"It is very, very difficult and there's been a lot of cases of it recently, where people have been put under so much scrutiny that it has a very negative effect.

"I guess there are only so many people who really understand what they are going through."

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