The effort Mercedes made to get Russell ready

George Russell has revealed the logistical efforts Mercedes made ahead of his Formula 1 race debut with the team, which included preparing and transporting his race suit in several countries.

Listen to this article

The Briton's short-term move to the reigning champion squad, where he has been a junior driver since the start of 2017, was only confirmed on Wednesday morning – the day after Lewis Hamilton had announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.

But, speaking in the pre-event press conference for the Sakhir Grand Prix alongside his new teammate, Valtteri Bottas, Russell explained that Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had made him aware that a potential temporary transfer was a possibility at "2am on Tuesday".

Read Also:

Russell then explained how Mercedes had quickly acted to complete the various logistical challenges for his race debut, when asked what being chose as Hamilton's replacement meant for his future career chances at the team.

He said: "It means a huge amount to me that Mercedes gave me this opportunity because it was not easy for them – it was a lot of effort [that] went into making this deal happen. And I really appreciate what they've done.

"Logistically, getting helmets painted in the course of 24-hours, suits made, flown over from Italy [where Mercedes F1 race suits are made by Puma], to the UK, to Bahrain – there's so many things that have had to happen in the course of such a short period of time.

"Knowing they were willing to do that means a lot to me and I guess I have to repay that with my best performance and my best efforts regardless of what position that may mean."

Russell also said he was not entering the Sakhir race with any additional expectations, despite driving for a team that has won 13 of the 15 race so far in 2020 after stepping up from Williams.

"From my side, I think there's no pressure," he explained. "I'm being thrown in at the last opportunity, haven't driven their simulator in two years – my seat is three years old.

"I've got so much information to learn. And like I say, going up against Valtteri isn't going to be easy. So, I think I'm in a good position. I'm not putting any additional pressure on myself. I'm going to go out there, I'm going to enjoy it.

"And there's been no targets, no expectations expected from me by Toto, by Mercedes. Because you can't judge somebody off the back of one race, I think.

"This weekend is gonna be about learning, especially Friday, focused towards qualifying, and into the race on Sunday. And if I get the opportunity next week again in Abu Dhabi, who knows? That will be easier for me."

shares
comments

Related video

Perez not keen on F1 reserve role if he can't find race seat
Previous article

Perez not keen on F1 reserve role if he can't find race seat

Next article

Bahrain 'oval' has a “strange, aggressive" kerb - Gasly

Bahrain 'oval' has a “strange, aggressive" kerb - Gasly
Load comments
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022
Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives Prime

Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives

Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars when Gilles Villeneuve was killed during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Forty years on, Motorsport.com picks out the greatest drives by a Ferrari legend

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat Prime

The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat

OPINION: Much was made of Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix – what turned out to be a very ‘marmite’ event for both those in attendance and everyone following on TV. But even as the on-track battle between Red Bull and Ferrari it produced continued the negative run of results for the red team, it contained a glimmer it must hope continues to shine

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge Prime

How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge

OPINION: Despite all of the stylistic embellishments festooning Formula 1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Miami International Autodrome offered the drivers a unique challenge and punished driver errors; a stark contrast to the usual cast of modern-day circuits

Formula 1
May 10, 2022
Why F1’s turbulent relationship with Russia is nothing new Prime

Why F1’s turbulent relationship with Russia is nothing new

Russia’s involvement in Formula 1 has been big on promise but short on delivery – then reached the end of the road prematurely. MARK GALLAGHER investigates why

Formula 1
May 10, 2022