Capito: The bigger the pressure, the better Russell becomes
August 14, 2021
Williams boss Jost Capito says that George Russell, unlike many of his F1 colleagues, comes into his own and “grows” under pressure.
After coming tentatively close to scoring a top-ten finish with his team in the past, Russell scored his first career points in F1 with Williams in Hungary.
It was a milestone result for the Briton, and for teammate Nicholas Latifi, and one that produced an overflow of emotions for the Mercedes protégé once the checkered flag had dropped on his 48th race with Williams.
Interestingly, Russell’s breakthrough performance in Hungary came on the back of his failure to exit Q3 in qualifying, his first shortfall of the sort for 2021.
But rather than lament the failing, Russell lined up on the grid a lowly P17 on Sunday with his motivation bursting at the seams.
“I have to say, I had hardly seen him that motivated as I saw him Sunday before the race having qualified 17th,” Capito told F1.com. “Instead, he said ‘today is the day, I will see what I can do. I will fight’.
“He was so focused and determined, even more than when he qualified 8th [at Silverstone]. That was really great to see.”
No F1 driver is really totally immune to tension and stress, but Russell comes close.
“If he gets a knock he comes back better,” added Capito. “He grows under pressure. The bigger the pressure is, the better he becomes.
“Many crack under pressure, but George is completely different. The more pressure the better he will perform.
“We saw that when he was in the Mercedes last year [deputising for Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain]. It was the biggest pressure you could put on any driver, and he performed brilliantly – and this is his attitude.”
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Despite his steely determination, Russell let it all out after finally scoring his first points for Williams at the Hungaroring. A poignant reaction that Capito believes reflected his driver’s unwavering support for his team and crews.
“He’s very honest in that,” said the Williams CEO. “You see honest emotions. He is not playing anything. He is exactly like his.
“He is a team member and he doesn’t want to let the team down as much the team doesn’t want to let him down.”
And Russell’s offer to sacrifice his race in Hungary to help improve Latifi’s chances of points was the ultimate expression of his outstanding solidarity and sense of unity.