George Russell: Lando Norris, Alexander Albon reputation helps my standing

George Russell with Lando Norris

George Russell says the praise being given to Lando Norris and Alexander Albon acts as a help, rather than a hindrance, to his own Formula 1 prospects.

Russell beat Norris and Albon to last year’s Formula 2 title but their fortunes have altered upon their respective graduations to Formula 1 due to the pace of their teams.

Norris holds eighth in the championship, Albon has taken three points finishes, while Russell has exited Q1 at each event and is yet to score owing to Williams’ dire pace.

“I only need the praise from Williams and from Mercedes,” said Russell when asked if the praise issued towards his fellow rookies was frustrating.

“And I’d prefer those two guys to be happy with me rather than the media be happy with me. From my side those are the two that will make a difference with my career.

“But the better they’re doing [Albon and Norris] the more it helps my career as well.

“At the moment they’ve [Williams and Mercedes] all got all of the information in front of them, regardless of your pace you know if you’ve done a good job or not.

“In F2 I’ve qualified third or fourth and knew I should have been on pole so that’s not a good job, and times where I’ve qualified third or fourth in F2 and known that’s been the maximum.”

Russell also elaborated on how difficult it can be for drivers, particularly towards the lower end of the grid, to be fully evaluated by the watching world.

“Obviously you never know what the full potential is, but looking at the videos [you can see] if a driver has maximised it,” said Russell.

“If he goes out and locks up at the first corner and loses two-tenths compared to the previous lap you know that isn’t the maximum he could have done.

“But if he did all of his best sectors, if every corner was the fastest of the weekend, the lap looked good from the onboard, then you know that’s pretty much the pace of the car.

“But it’s like that with anything. How do you know the laps the top guys are doing are the quickest? You only have one person really to compare against and it’s the same for everybody.”