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Russell: Mercedes more forgiving with juniors than Red Bull

  • Published on 18 Apr 2019 10:42
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Williams' George Russell believes that Mercedes is a lot more gentle handling junior drivers than Red Bull.

Russell is currently the only Mercedes junior racing in Formula 1, while Red Bull has introduced a series of current drivers to F1 through their junior programme.

However, the energy drink squad is known to be ruthless with their junior drivers if they don't impress early on.

Alexander Albon, who races for Toro Rosso this year, was dropped from the Red Bull junior programme in 2012 before being recalled as a replacement for Brendon Hartley in 2019.

“Alex is doing a really great job at the moment,” said Russell. "Everybody is aware of the pressure seen upon Red Bull juniors so you understand why they’re all at 120% every single time they set foot in the car."

Russell described how Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff reassured him after difficult starts to both his F2 and GP3 starts when he was "expecting a bollocking".

"It’s not that I don’t feel pressure,” he said. “At the end of the day if I’m not performing Mercedes aren’t just going to keep me there.

"But when I opened the season in Bahrain last year in F2 and it was a poor weekend, and when I opened the season in GP3 in Barcelona it was a poor weekend, the response from Toto was ‘don’t worry about it, it’s your first race, it’s a long season and make sure you do better next time’.

“I was expecting a bollocking when I walked into his office so like I say I can’t speak for them, how it is, but obviously the perception, just looking at the history of how they do things.”

“I feel the same amount of pressure entering a qualifying session as I did in F2 or GP3. You want to do your best, you want to get the most out of it. I know I’ve just got to do the job.

“There’s no need to add additional pressure to try and impress anybody more than you’re doing. My goal is to get the most out of it and if I do it then they’ll be happy.”

Replies (3)

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  • Ocon didnt have a seat while being on top his game. Wherlein doesnt even have a future in f1. If i were Russell, i would watch my words little careful next time.

    • + 1
    • Apr 18 2019 - 18:30
    • Savio

      Posts: 145

      yes, but Russell is a Briton. This is the case.

      • + 0
      • Apr 18 2019 - 19:57
    • I still don't think it's an apt comparison. Ocon is sti around, Mercedes did everything possie to place him too. Wherein had multiple chances to shine and didn't. I am not sure what was harsh Bkut any of these.

      • + 0
      • Apr 19 2019 - 11:49

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