George Russell reacts to his first ever F1 podium, calling it “fantastic,” and reminding Mercedes of his capability.
After taking second place in Belgium, George Russell described his first ever F1 podium as “fantastic.”
Despite the Belgian Grand Prix being shortened due to bad weather, George Russell hailed a “fantastic” first-ever Formula One podium finish. Heavy rain halted competitive racing at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, and two circuits with the safety car were completed at 5.17pm UK time, after the race was due to begin at 2pm.
However, the conditions were still deemed too risky, and the red flag was quickly raised, indicating that the outcome would be determined by the order of qualifying.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull was crowned the winner, ahead of Williams’ Russell and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.
Under F1 rules, two completed laps are enough to score half points for a race, and Russell’s sense of accomplishment was unaffected by the shortened race.
“It doesn’t matter [if the race doesn’t finish],” he remarked. We aren’t often rewarded for excellent qualifying results. Today, we certainly did.
“First and foremost, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all of the fans. Their commitment to staying here the entire time was incredible. All of us were in the same boat. It’s a shame we weren’t able to start this race.”
Russell, 23, put up one of the best qualifying performances of the weekend in an uncompetitive Williams vehicle, narrowly missing pole by 0.321 seconds due to a thrilling last-ditch lap by Red Bull driver Verstappen.
And the British driver admits that he was startled by his own performance.
“Amazing result from our side and the team’s side,” he continued.
“I’m sure there’ll be a small party tonight! The entire team is deserving of it. Over the previous few years, a lot of effort has gone into this. There hasn’t been anything to show for it so yet.
“We completely nailed it yesterday, and now we’re on the podium,” says the team. I can tell you right now that I didn’t expect that this year.”
Russell’s chances of joining Hamilton at Mercedes next season have only improved as a result of the victory.
Russell, a Mercedes junior driver, filled in for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix last season, finishing eighth.
Toto Wolff’s quandary over whether to keep Valtteri Bottas or replace him with a budding star for the 2022 season has received a lot of attention.
It’s a choice Wolff hinted he’d made informally over the weekend.
Russell, on the other hand, seemed to love the “Brinkwire Summary News.”