Why there’s far more to Russell than qualifying specialism
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.
Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline
Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…
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