George Russell has explained how his 2020 Mercedes cameo has helped prepare him for the challenges that come with racing at the top of F1.
The British driver has earned his step from his placement at Williams to the Silver Arrows after three years at the back of the grid, although he led the team to its first points in two seasons last term with a succession of stellar performances.
Russell stood in for a Covid-stricken Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and fared with the pressure marvellously, only losing victory through a tyre mix-up at a pit stop followed by a puncture.
Asked about the pressures of the added scrutiny that comes with racing for the world champions, Russell told an interview including GPFans at the end of 2021: “I feel absolutely fine about it.
"It's not something I ever shy away from and often, when the helmet’s on, you forget about everything else. Obviously, I was fortunate to have the experience with Mercedes, to be honest.
“Lining up on the grid on the front row when the helmet was on, it didn't even cross my mind that I was going into turn one fighting for a lead because when the helmet's on you’ve got one vision, which is to go as fast as possible and attack the car ahead and keep the cars behind.
“Even when I was leading the race, it just felt like just another race to me. There was no additional pressure within when I was driving because that's what I was there to do.”