George Russell speaks up on using Mercedes learning from last year plus dirty air in F1 2021 and also the pace of Alfa Romeo.
Having had that one grand prix with Mercedes in 2020, it was an eye-opener for Russell, who managed to take away a lot of information. It was not just restricted to his own learnings, but also something which he can utilise to help Williams as well.
“I think, it’s sort of that the Mercedes ways were very analytical and very in depth into certain details of which I’ve been able to carry over,” started Russell when speaking to media including FormulaRapida.net. “Like seeing how their engineers work was interesting and I can always take a bit of both and almost merge them together to see what works best for myself.
“So, and equally, minor details from what I got with the data there and try to implement a bit of that here, are all coming in handy. But at the end of the day, Formula One’s very dynamic and you need to learn how to get the most out of your machine and if it works in a Mercedes, it doesn’t mean it works in a Williams.
“I think that is something I also learned is you have to be dynamic, and I had to change my driving quite a lot to suit their car to get the most out of their car and equally when I came to Williams, I had to revert, because I can’t do things the Williams could do, the way Mercedes did,” summed up Russell.
Moving on to dirty air, Russell was informed by the media that Haas’ Mick Schumacher stated that Williams are bad to follow in terms of dirty air, but the Brit shrugged off that part of information, while shared his thoughts on the situation for 2021 F1 season.
“It’s quite interesting, sometimes you even feel when you’re following cars, some cars are easier to follow than others and some cars give off a bit cleaner air and some cars give off really dirtier which makes it difficult,” said Russell. “Generally, the Mercedes and the Red Bull cars, they are the [ones better to follow].
“The Mercedes is a spectacular car that is just robust in all conditions, really. And I think I think that’s why we often see the Mercedes excel at Silverstone because that circuit is very flat. It’s very open. There’s often a lot of wind and it’s very high speed.
“There’s then it very tricky to drive. And I think that’s where the Mercedes really comes into its own and equally in conditions,” summed up Russell, as he then talked about the 2021 competition, where they wish to beat Haas and Alfa Romeo for starters.
Williams has opted for a aero concept, which will make it a season of two halves for them, and a lot will depend on the wind conditions. Looking at how the Bahrain F1 test went, Russell feels Alfa Romeo has taken a step forward – not just with the engine but pace too.
“Kimi looked very, very fast in the test,” said Russell. “I have to give him credit. I need to look deeper into the data books, but they [Alfa Romeo] look like the most surprising team. I can’t honestly tell you, where I think we are in comparison, but on the face of things Kimi looked very fast.”
Here’s George Russell explaining the aero concept of Williams
Here’s lap count from Bahrain F1 Test