George Russell: “I’m not one of these guys who likes to hype it up”

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George Russell says he doesn’t like to hype himself up in his pre-race rituals, and actually prefers to be calm and relaxed, “as if it’s any other day”.

Some drivers like to hype themselves up and get energetic before they head to the track to race, but George Russell says he takes the opposite approach.

“I’m not one of these guys who likes to hype it up,” Russell said on the IWC’s ‘Partners In Time’ Podcast.

“I’m not one of those ‘I need to listen to this, I need to get in the zone’, because I feel like your body is in this excited, almost angry state when you’re hyping yourself up and you’re almost anxious I feel.

“So I’ve almost got the opposite approach, I like to be calm, I like to be relaxed, I like to go about it as if it’s any other day, I feel like I perform best when I’m calm and I’m relaxed and I don’t put any pressure on myself.

“I listen to a bit of music in the morning on the way into the track, nothing crazy, say hello to everyone, have a coffee, chill out and to be really honest, that’s about it.

“As boring as it sounds, I think that’s what works for me. I appreciate guys who need the rock and roll music to hype them up and get them ready to smash it into the first corner, but that doesn’t work for me.

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“Everyone’s different. Maybe people look at me and think ‘well that’s crazy and I can’t believe you don’t get yourself in the zone’ or they might think I’m missing a trick.

“But I know my body, I know from my past experiences what works for me and that does. So nice and chilled.”

Russell was also asked to pick the favourite car he has driven in his career, and somewhat surprisingly he picked his Formula 2 title-winning 2018 ART Grand Prix car.

“I’ve obviously had the pleasure of driving a few of the World Championship-winning Mercedes cars, which were without a doubt the best cars I’ve drove, but they weren’t truly my cars.

“Cars you won it, or karts you won in, they are the ones you love. It doesn’t matter how it looks, how it feels, if you win, you love it.

“I’d say probably the most successful year of my career was 2018 when I raced Formula 2.

“I’ve actually got a very nice photograph on the wall of my flat [of] back in 2018 when I won the championship,” the Briton concluded.

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