Russell: Perfecting procedures "biggest thing" on return

Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell believes that it will be easy to get back into driving mode in Austria next weekend and likens it to “riding a bike”, but admits that remembering the correct procedures and managing a race has potential for mistakes.

Russell: Perfecting procedures "biggest thing" on return
Listen to this article

Russell, who has not had the opportunity to test a real car during the break, was surprised by how easily he got back into a rhythm when he returned to the Williams simulator.

The Briton also believes that his recent focus on Esports, which saw him win the unofficial Virtual GP championship, has helped to keep him sharp.

“I’ve driven on the sim and my first five laps were absolutely terrible,” he said in an F1 vodcast. “But by my 12th lap I was actually quicker than what I was prior to Australia, same track, same set-up, everything exactly the same. I was quite shocked by that to be honest.

“It took a little while to remember some of the procedures we had to do, and the way I worked with my engineers.

“I think that’s probably going to be the biggest thing, when you talk about rhythm, remembering exactly what feedback my guys need, how I need to drive in certain ways for the out lap, in-laps, cool down laps. That’s probably the point where we’ll make a couple of mistakes.”

Read Also:

Russell says that simply driving a fast lap will come easily.

“From a qualifying perspective, when it’s everything on the table, everything you’ve got, I think that’s just going to be like riding a bike to be honest.

“Essentially you’ve either got it or you don’t, and you know how you need to drive for a lap like that. But when it does come to the race you’ve got to manage your tyres, manage your brakes, the engine temperature, attacking, defending, engine modes, talking to the engineers, giving them feedback.

“That’s the part that requires probably the most skill, there’s a lot of finesses required to optimise your whole package.

“I’ve done a lot of looking back over my notes, how I was preparing for Australia, how I ended Abu Dhabi last year, when I went into the simulator how I need to approach the race, so fingers crossed we should be in a good position.”

George Russell, Williams FW43

George Russell, Williams FW43

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Russell says his virtual racing experience was relevant because of the pressure to get it right.

“I first started out as a bit of fun with my mates, then I soon learned they are pretty damn fast and pretty competitive. I was, obviously I’m at the back of the grid in real F1, I don’t want to come here and be uncompetitive.

“So I put a bit of effort in, put a bit of work in, and just having that competitiveness was great. It gave me that opportunity to stay sharp. Even though it’s virtual, when you get to the real race, there’s still a lot of things that are very similar.

“You’ve still got to go out in qualifying, you’ve got three laps to do the job, and if you don’t do the job then you’re going to be at the back of the grid, and you’ve still got that pressure.

“You can all do a quick lap time in practice, but when it comes to quali you’ve got to do the job and that pressure’s there, it’s a different story.

“And also a race start, cars around you waiting for the lights to go off, when you’re sat on the grid and you’ve got those five red lights coming on, and you’re quite anxious and ready to let go of the clutch.

“That’s the same in the virtual world. Little things like that definitely didn’t hurt at all.”

shares
comments
How to win a Grand Prix with a broken leg (without knowing it)
Previous article

How to win a Grand Prix with a broken leg (without knowing it)

Next article

Wolff: F1 can overcome "weirdness" of closed door races

Wolff: F1 can overcome "weirdness" of closed door races
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Prime

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year.

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022