Williams F1 Boss Sees ‘a Lot’ of Raikkonen in George Russell

Published 04/22/2021, 6:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Williams’ George Russell during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Jost Capito, the new boss of the Williams F1 team, took charge after the Williams family gave up ownership of the team last year. So, he’s getting to each and every team member with a fresh eye, and this new perspective has led him to see the similarities between Williams driver George Russell and Kimi Raikkonen.

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The 23-year-old is one of the most talented drivers in the current Formula One grid. He has extracted the most out of the lackluster Williams’ car and pushed it into Q2 in several qualifying sessions.

Russell was starting 12th at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. However, he drove beautifully and almost got up to P9 when a horrible accident with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas saw him retire from the race.

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Capito has seen traits of Raikkonen in George Russell

In an episode of the podcast, Beyond the Grid, Williams’s CEO said, “There is a lot, in George I see a lot what I seen in Kimi. His driving brilliant, his natural talent is brilliant. But he doesn’t rely just on his natural talent. He is working very hard and he is demanding.

“Where I said before, it’s not easy to work with him. I said no, I meant that as a compliment. Because he is demanding, he wants more and more, he is never happy and a driver should never be happy with what he has.

“But he has the ability to get the team behind him. Everybody is really pushing and motivated to give him what he is demanding. And that is an ability that a top driver needs,” he concluded.

Russell apologies to Valtteri for the crash at Imola

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was something both George Russell and Bottas would like to forget. The Williams driver was chasing down the #77 driver of the Silver Arrows, but the Briton didn’t expect Bottas to make a sudden move and crashed into him, ending their race immediately. Since then, the 23-year-old took to social media to apologize to the Finnish driver.

He wrote, “Yesterday wasn’t my proudest day. I knew it would be one of our best opportunities to score points this season and, when those points matter as much as they do to us right now, sometimes you take risks. It didn’t pay off and I have to take responsibility for that.

“Having had time to reflect on what happened afterwards, I know I should have handled the whole situation better. Emotions can run high in the heat of the moment and yesterday mine got the better of me. I apologise to Valtteri, to my team and to anyone who felt let down by my actions.

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“That’s not who I am and I expect more from myself, as I know others expect more from me. I’ve learned some tough lessons this weekend and will come out of this a better driver and a better person for the experience. Now it’s full focus for Portugal and a chance to show what I’m really about. Thanks for all the messages, both positive and negative. They will all help me to grow,” he concluded.

The British driver would look to learn from his mistakes and redeem himself in the next round. He hopes to bring the Grove-based outfit their first points of the season in the upcoming race at Portugal later this month.

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Arpit Gomes

670 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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