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Russell: I think Mercedes believe in me

George Russell revealed that he learned the importance of being “adaptable” after driving for Mercedes at the Sakhir Grant Prix.

With Lewis Hamilton ruled out due to COVID-19, Russell impressed as his replacement, qualifying second on the grid and jumping ahead of Valtteri Bottas at the start of the race.

His race was undone thanks to a Mercedes pit stop error and subsequent puncture, but the 22-year-old did more than enough to prove his quality.

Russell returned to Williams for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the following week and revealed that the driving style he used at Mercedes did not work with the different equipment.

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“I think the thing I’ve learned most is that you have to be adaptable,” he said. “My sort of driving style I did in the Williams actually hurt me slightly in the Mercedes.

“So when I came back to the Williams and I tried to implement some of the things that I did in that Bahrain race, but I couldn’t do it in the Williams, I think that sort of reinforced to me that you have to be open minded and you have to adapt to whatever the car is giving you.

“So if one guy drives like that in a Mercedes, it doesn’t mean you can drive like that in a Williams, and vice versa.”

Asked how he will look to build on a strong 2020 next season, Russell said his goal was to help push Williams forward.

“I think it’s continuing the form, and continuing the positive attitude internally with the team and externally,” he added.

“It’s not getting frustrated with the poor performance here, and continue to try to push Williams further forward. I think Mercedes believe in me, they’ve given me the opportunity, and they’ve always had my back.

“Now it’s sort of my duty that I stay true, and that I don’t suddenly change over the course of next year because of certain circumstances, and turn into something that I’m not currently.”