New Mercedes driver George Russell revealed the exact moment he silences his haters, pinpointing the 2020 Sakhir GP as the day.
Russell may be the newest Mercedes commodity, but fans have already had a taste of what he would offer the team. This came at 2020’s Sakhir GP, where the young Englishman filled in for the then-COVID positive Lewis Hamilton.
The former Williams driver put in an absolute shift, and was on course to take his first win at two moments during the race. Unfortunately, comical bad luck and a major lapse from Mercedes meant he ultimately failed to do so. Nevertheless, he was the fastest man on that day.
Subsequently, Russell revealed the moment he silences his haters, saying that once everyone saw his pace, they sat up and took notice.
“I guess Bahrain, last year (2020) was the key moment that; if there were any doubters, the doubts were gone,” he told Motor Sport Magazine Podcast, as quoted by Racingnews365.com.
“The key people who would have made the difference in my career, Toto (Wolff, Mercedes boss), he ultimately is the one who has the final say.
“He believed in me, and he had faith in me, even when I was finishing last every single weekend. So for me, that race obviously potentially proved a point to so many others but, at the end of the day, it’s Toto who makes the decision.”
“Because he followed my career so closely, I guess he believed he knew what I was capable of,” he continued.
“So that race probably didn’t really change anything in his mind whatsoever but, to the outside world, so many others may have thought, ‘OK, it is clear why he wants to go down that route’.
“But I guess for everybody that was a standout race and a pretty crazy one, when I look back at it.”