Why there’s far more to Russell than qualifying specialism
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Why there’s far more to Russell than qualifying specialism

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Forget the ridiculous ‘Mr Saturday’ tag. There’s more to George Russell than impressive qualifying statistics. This thrillingly complete young talent is driving Williams out of the doldrums even as he eyes a future at Mercedes, says Luke Smith.

The old adage in Formula 1 that the first person you must beat is your teammate may be cliched, yet it rings true. Drivers constantly compare themselves with the man across the garage, knowing the importance of becoming the in-house alpha.

It makes qualifying head-to-head records a valued statistic for many drivers. As pally-pally as Lando Norris was with Carlos Sainz at McLaren, he took some pleasure in pipping the Spaniard on Saturdays across their two seasons together (11-10 in 2019, 8-8 in 2020). Fernando Alonso’s 21-0 whitewash of Stoffel Vandoorne in 2018 meant so much to the two-time F1 world champion that he was still trotting out the statistic 18 months later.

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