Russell Credits Sebastian Vettel for ‘Drastically’ Improving Crucial F1 Skill

Published 01/06/2021, 7:50 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel before the match Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason


The castrated Ferrari engine had Sebastian Vettel drop down to the lower midfield from the top. As a result, the German had new battles to fight this season. Meanwhile, George Russell looked back at his encounters with the four-time world champion.

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The Williams driver had an impressive season as he constantly catapulted the car to Q2. He also came close to scoring a point for the British Formula 1 team. The young Briton claims his battles with Vettel during the season helped him significantly.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“I have improved drastically as a racing driver because we had wheel-to-wheel battles with Alfa Romeo, Haas and often with Vettel all season long. I was talking about it recently and Sebastian is probably the driver I have fought with the most this season,” revealed Russell.

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George Russell on his 2020 learnings

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Russell had a rollercoaster season as he made the most of his opportunity with Mercedes filling in for Hamilton. The young Brit had his many firsts during his one-night fiesta with Mercedes. He had his first front-row start, led his first lap, and claimed his first career points at the Sakhir Grand Prix. He had racing battles with Haas and Alfa Romeo drivers along with Sebastian Vettel.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell celebrates after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

“This experience of wheel-to-wheel racing in a Formula 1 car helped me so much, because it’s different. It’s so different from the junior formulas, simply because the downforce is so complex. When you lose downforce, the car changes. And learning how to use it was great for me,” explained Russell.

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Looking ahead to the 2021 season, the Williams driver would hope to claim more points for his team. He admits that he’s always on the defensive, as Williams often struggles with faster cars. After a point-less season, Russell will be desperate to change the team’s fate.

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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