Russell says Sakhir GP win “would have been too much of a fairytale”

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

George Russell says losing the victory in his Mercedes debut at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix will make him “a stronger driver”.

George Russell made his debut for Mercedes in 2020 at the Sakhir Grand Prix, when he replaced Lewis Hamilton who tested positive for COVID-19.

Although he was on his way to win the race, a pit stop tyre mix-up and subsequent puncture ultimately dropped him down to P10.

George says this experience, as well as other difficult experiences with Williams, taught him how to properly deal with setbacks.

“It wasn’t just the Mercedes experience, but there were other experiences as well, and dealing with and bouncing back from disappointment is part of life and part of competitive sport,” the Briton told GPFans.

“You know a championship isn’t won or lost in one race, it’s won over the course of a season. You will always have disappointing race weekends, you’ll have failures, you’ll have success.

“But if you don’t bounce back from those disappointments, you are only going to compromise yourself and your team for the remaining races.

“So accepting those disappointments, learning from it, and equally just moving on and going from there.”

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He was then asked if he thinks these difficult moments will make him better prepared to deal with any setbacks he may encounter in the future.

“Absolutely. I think people who have it easy throughout their career, throughout their life, when they do face these disappointments, they struggle to deal with it, and probably aren’t able to bounce back as quickly.

“And that’s why I’m grateful that I’ve been in this position on a number of occasions, to make me more resilient.

“I would have loved to have won that race [Sakhir 2020], but that’s not what I want my career to be remembered by.

“I want to be the most complete driver possible and I want to look back in 20 years time and say ‘that was an incredibly strong career, every single outcome had a reason behind it and that made me a stronger driver’.

“I believe that race in Bahrain, losing that victory, will make me a stronger driver.

“In a way, it would have been too much of a fairytale to have won and I probably wouldn’t have appreciated the achievement if that had happened,” Russell concluded.

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