George Russell at the Emilia Romagna GP Friday Press Conference

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

George Russell attended the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Friday Drivers’ Press Conference. Here is the transcript!

Q:  George if we can come to you now. Fourth, fifth and third in the opening three races this year and you’re now second in the World Championship. Has that been the maximum of what this car is capable? 

George Russell: I think in terms of results, probably. There’s obviously always more performance you can get from every single time you hit the circuit. I think it’s been a reasonable start with the package we’ve got. I think we can come away from the first three races thinking we got some good results with the pace deficit we have to Ferrari and Red Bull. We think we’re seven-tenths to a second behind them, yet we’re sitting P2 in the Championship. But we know that we won’t maintain this position unless we find more performance. So, you know, we need to keep on pushing.

Q: Do you have reason to believe that you can close that gap this weekend? Have you got new bits coming Do you think this track will suit the car better? 

GR: No. I mean there’s nothing substantial that’s going to make a drastic difference this weekend. We’re constantly trying new bits and pieces but in terms of an overall result, we are just too far behind to make a substantial difference in terms of overall results. So, we hope we are going to continue to close this gap but I still think it’s too early in the season for us to make that deficit close up. We just need to keep going out there this weekend, another opportunity because it’s going to be mixed conditions and we need to make the most of that.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing News 365) To all drivers, with a related question for George specifically. Now we’re back in Europe, we’ve got the first chance of this new weekend format, so your individual thoughts please. And George, I believe the GPDA addressed a letter to Formula 1 and the FIA regarding the format and various other things. Could you elaborate please?

GR: Obviously with the GPDA, I’ve only been around for three years, but I think between all of the drivers we are incredibly united and we’ve got a constant communication with Formula 1 and FIA to try to improve our sport in every single aspect. It’s forever developing, forever changing and I don’t think there’s anything more to elaborate at the moment. I think it’s important that between the drivers, F1 and the FIA, we’ve all on the same page and we’re all pushing in the same direction.


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Q: (Joost Nederpelt – NU.NL) This new generation of cars is a lot stiffer and lower to the ground, lower ride-height. So, does it make then harder to set-up for the rain?

GR: I think it’s going to be interesting with the porpoising issues. Obviously we’ve seen it’s been pretty violent for a lot of teams and a lot of drivers and obviously the DRS was removed in Melbourne for safety reasons to avoid anything happening. Obviously in the wet, over the bumps, whatever it may be… if we’re porpoising, who knows? I don’t know what the long-term solution is for Formula 1 – if there truly is a solution for removing this porpoising, or there is not. So, yeah, I don’t know what the long-term future is: if we’re going to have to just deal with this for the next three years or so.

Q: (Adam Cooper – motorsport.com) For all of you. Have you had a chance to try Miami in the sim? Any thoughts on it? What kind of race we’re going to see there?

GR: I’ve done three laps when I was there for an event last year on a local sim but I actually forgot by now! So, no. We’ll do that next week.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing News 365) When Ayrton Senna was asked who the best driver and his opinion was, he identified a karting driver, Terry Fullerton, who didn’t make it beyond karting, basically. From your karting careers, who do you think was the best driver who didn’t make it into Formula 1?

GR: I think similar comments to all of the guys next to me, I think, it is so difficult to make that step from karting, and every single year you progress, the budgets are just getting larger and larger and larger. And sometimes that talent is diluted. And I think as a sport, we need to find a way to make sure that we have the very best talent and progression through the ranks. But I mean, for me when I did my first year in European karting, you know, the guys who were winning and who were at the front, was Max, Charles. And Alex Albon, was winning the years before us as well. And here we are together in Formula 1. So, you know, there’s been some exceptional drivers we’ve all come up against, but I think the drivers who I would rank at the top are all the ones who are sat alongside me at the moment.

Source: FIA.com

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