George Russell got the chance of a lifetime when Mercedes announced that he was to replace Lewis Hamilton to drive the Sakhir Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was quarantined and isolated after testing COVID-19 positive after the first race in Bahrain.
Mercedes charted out a deal with Williams to loan Russell out to replace Hamilton. Russell had very little time to understand and learn the ways of the car. However, the young Briton impressed everyone with his one-week-stand with Mercedes.
Russell showed his skills in qualifying as he missed the pole position only by a couple of milliseconds. However, it was during the race that Russell really stepped up. He seemed set for a race win, but a pit stop disaster and a rear puncher later, he was robbed of the win.
The next weekend, Hamilton was back, and Russell had to go back to Williams. Recently, he discussed which was more challenging, stepping up to Mercedes or coming back to Williams.
He said, “Actually harder probably jumping back to the Williams because the Mercedes car is so good, it’s what every driver wants from a race car, the Mercedes gives you.
“You feel the driver is in control of the Mercedes whereas sometimes it is almost like our car is controlling the driver, we have to react to it, whereas in the Mercedes you are the one controlling it,” he further added.
Williams and Mercedes are two teams at the extreme spectrum of the sport. Mercedes finished at the top of the standings, whereas Williams has found itself scraping the bottom of the barrel for far too long.
Russell explained how it was highly important for him to adapt through the teams. He said, “I think the thing I’ve learned most is you have to be adaptable.
“My driving style I did in the Williams actually hurt me slightly in the Mercedes and actually when I came back to the Williams and I tried to implement some of the things I did in that Bahrain race I couldn’t do it in the Williams.
“The thing it reinforced to me is you have to be open-minded and adapt to what the car is giving you. And if one guy drives like that in a Mercedes it doesn’t mean you can drive like that in a Williams and vice versa,” he further added,
George Russell is considered as the primary contender to jump into the Silver Arrows’ cockpit whenever a spot opens up. Meanwhile, Russell will try to get into Q3 next season. Hopefully, he will also get Williams a point come 2021.