George Russell talks about shedding tear after F1 Hungarian GP points for Williams and explains the radio message in support of Nicholas Latifi.
For Russell and Williams, after long they finally achieved points in ninth – which will be eighth due to pending Sebastian Vettel’s DQ – as he equaled his best result when subbing for Lewis Hamilton late last year but that was at the sharp end of things.
This was the result of toil and graft. As well as a lot of bad luck too; Imola 2020 and Austria last month. Ironically, “Mr Saturday” did not make it out of Q1 – first time in 2021 – and he along with Nicholas Latifi ended up in points in Hungarian GP.
“It meant so much, more than just finishing P9 (P8), this is a result of three years of hard work, disappointment, through the tough times, and I guess following Imola this year, following Austria, probably part of the story was, is it ever going to happen? So, pleased to be able to finally capitalise, maybe today, of all the races, was the one we deserved to score points, but I think it is a fair result from everything, and I’m so happy to come home in the points and points for the team means so much,” said Russell to written media.
It really was an example of never giving up, helped by the first corner incidents, Russell did progress quickly from 17th and an inspired drive kept Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo behind was an achievement in its own right, which actually pushed him to shed a tear – something he says he wouldn’t even do for his first F1 win.
“I mean, I literally shed a tear, which I was not expecting,” said Russell. “I probably wouldn’t have shed a tear, if I won my first race, to be honest, that’s how much it means. It means more than I can put it into words, that the ride we’ve been through these past three years, if you’re fighting for years and you finally get it.
“And again, it was an incredible stint on our side of the garage. My second stint, it probably is the best in my whole career. Keeping Dany Ric behind, keeping Max behind, closing the gap by 20 seconds, I was ahead. It was exceptional. I fought with whatever I had, as I do every single race, but I finally came home with something.”
A 100% effort to get the job done, early in the race, Russell even offered sacrificing his own race success to prioritise Latifi, who was running third. The very fact that he offered as opposed to being advised to, was very admirable. A total team player in every sense.
Post-race, Russell explained the radio call and why he thought was the best thing to do at that time, thinking about Williams. “As I said, I mean, it is sort of an undercut race here,” he started. “So, I knew Nicholas was in third and I knew if he came home with a P3 and or P4, with those 15 or 12 points would be enough to absolutely seal the eight in the championship.
“I’ve always said that I’ll put the team’s agenda ahead of mine because ultimately I’m a team player and to help the team score as many points as possible. And if you’ve made a fantastic start…Latifi’s really been making huge progress, you may not see it. I have seen it on the face of it, but he’s really been pushing me.
“The idea was that I would have stayed out longer to stop the guys ahead from undercutting or box straightaway to do the undercut and let me go longer. If that meant, at least one of us would have scored better,” summed up Russell.
For Williams, the Hungarian GP result possibly feels like a 1-2, especially the way their last three F1 seasons have gone, but they have chipped away bit by bit this season and they got it at just the right time heading into the summer break.
The story was written by Neil Farrell
Here’s the radio call from George Russell: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-hungarian-grand-prix-russell-asks-williams-to-prioritise-team-mate-latifi.1706899644004280064.html
Here’s George Russell in parc ferme: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-hungarian-grand-prix-russell-celebrates-deserved-williams-points.1706906629904952545.html
Here’s a moment from TV of George Russell crying: https://twitter.com/F1/status/1421870085975592968?s=20
Here’s what Lap 1 carnage makers said