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Mercedes to profit from Russell's "very wide window of experience"

Mercedes to profit from Russell's "very wide window of experience"

F1 News

Mercedes to profit from Russell's "very wide window of experience"

Mercedes to profit from Russell's "very wide window of experience"

George Russell has no doubt Mercedes will benefit from what he has described as his "very wide window of experience" after a three-year spell with Williams.

Russell has finally been given his shot with the reigning F1 constructors' champions who opted to sign the 23-year-old Briton instead of retaining Valtteri Bottas for what would have been a sixth consecutive season.

Those seasons with Williams were naturally tough for Russell who has had to learn F1 the hard way by running in back-of-the-grid machinery, although his final year in 2021 at least offered relief with points and the unusual podium in Belgium.

Put to Russell in an end-of-season interview that included GPFans that drivers do not necessarily become quicker they simply improve over time, he replied: “Absolutely, I totally agree.

"I don't believe a driver gets quicker. They do get better, more consistent and probably what has allowed me to do that is having a better understanding of the technical side.

“What does it take to get the tyres in the right window to start a lap? How do you deal with your out laps to make sure you're in the right position, not in too much traffic? If there is traffic, how do you deal with that? What do you need to do differently if a tyre is too hot or too cold?

“Having built up that toolbox of experience knowing, right, I couldn't have the perfect out lap because there was some traffic in sector three so I'm going to be slightly under the limit at turn one, but then from turn two onwards the tyre should be in a good window to be able to go from there.

“If you go banzai into turn one and the tyres are slightly too cold, your lap's gone. So [it is about] understanding these limitations.

“Then when you get into a race that's the really tricky bit, managing so many things at once."

Despite the backmarker problems Russell endured with Williams, he at least feels he has been "quite fortunate" to have experienced such difficulties.

“I feel like we've had this very wide window of experience that will allow me to delve into it under certain circumstances," added Russell who felt he was more prone to be able to push to the limit with an almost 'nothing-to-lose' mentality.

"If you're in a championship battle, no matter what the position is, if you've a relatively optimised package, you don't feel comfortable to step outside of the comfort zone too often because you can't risk it. Every race is so valuable.

“So, we know this is what works, so we've just got to continue in this rhythm and try and have the best possible.

“Whereas [at Williams], we could explore setup quite drastically, and I could explore my driving style quite drastically because we were effectively in this big, long test session.

“Every single race we were approaching it as 'Let's just keep pushing the tyres and building this understanding so that when the time does come, we should be able to be on top of things'.

"I think that helped us, in given circumstances and tricky conditions, to make more from it.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have been in the fight, in the mix racing harder. But ultimately, when I got back to that position, I feel like I didn't miss out on anything.

"It's still racing, at the end of the day, and you've got to take the positives in every situation."

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