George Russell surprised by post-race tears
George Russell didn’t expect tears to flow after finally scoring his first Williams points at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The staging of this event in 2021 will go down in the history books of Formula 1, one of those races that offers a level of drama seen only a few times per season at best.
In wet conditions, Valtteri Bottas set off a multi-car crash at the start, crashing himself, Lando Norris and Sergio Perez, while Max Verstappen sustained extensive body damage to his Red Bull and failed finished only 10th.
And behind that chaos, Lance Stroll was also wreaking havoc as he sank into Charles Leclerc.
All of this allowed Russell and Nicholas Latifi to push their way through the points, having been knocked out in Q1 in qualifying, and on lap 10, Latifi was in P3.
Ultimately, Grove’s team would record a double run with Latifi P8 and Russell P9, scoring the two drivers’ first points as Williams Drivers.
Russell was crying during his post-race media duties, and while extremely pleased with the result, he didn’t expect it to trigger that reaction.
“I literally shed a tear, which I never expected,” said Russell, as quoted by Autosport.
“I probably wouldn’t have shed a tear if I had won my first race, to be honest. This is what it means.
“It means more than I can express in words, thinking of the race we’ve been through the past three years. If you’ve been fighting for something for three years and you finally get it.
“It was an incredible stint on our side of the garage. This second stint was probably the best stint of my whole career. Keep Danny [Ricciardo] behind, keeping Max [Verstappen] behind, closing the gap by 20 seconds to the cars in front, it was exceptional.
“I pulled everything I got, like I do every run, and I finally came home with something.”
After the race resumed, Russell looked set to take the lead after what seemed like a stroke of genius in the pit lane.
All of the remaining drivers, bar leader Lewis Hamilton boxed for the slicks, leaving the seven-time world champion to take the standing restart on his own, so Russell decided to sneak outside into the pit lane and jump off. on the others while waiting for a green light.
This promoted him to grade P2, but the stewards were not so impressed and ordered Russell to take over some of those positions.
“I saw an opportunity. I just thought, shit, let’s go because the risk versus the reward, the reward part outweighed the risk, ”he said.
And when it comes to the stewards’ verdict, Russell praised it, saying he was grateful they took that route rather than inflicting a drive penalty.
“I’m really grateful to the FIA for showing a little common sense just to say ‘Give back these positions’. They could have come by and given me a drivethrough, ”he said.
“As I was walking out of my pit, I said, ‘Can I pass these cars? And literally, as I caught up with them, they said no. I knew early enough.
“So maybe I shouldn’t have done this.” But I didn’t like kicking myself because any rider in my position would have done the same.