George Russell opens up on controversial comment about Mick Schumacher

George Russell was criticised for a radio comment at the Singapore Grand Prix, where he questioned Mick Schumacher's driving.

George Russell believes that every radio comment he makes goes “under the microscope” given that he’s now a Mercedes driver, whereas nobody “gave two damns” about what he said to his team during his three-year stint at Williams.

The 24-year-old’s comments come as a result of the Briton having been criticised for how he spoke about Mick Schumacher at the Singapore Grand Prix, with the pair having battled for position.

Russell was battling Schumacher due to having started at the back of the grid, with the duo having gotten themselves onto the cusps of the points places.

Understandably, Schumacher was defending incredibly hard due to the fact that a point was on the cards, something which would’ve been huge for the now axed Haas driver.

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In the end, neither claimed a points finish, as Russell moved across the front of Schumacher into Turn One, resulting in a collision.

“Schumacher is defending like it’s the race of his life, crikey,” declared Russell, not too long before the duo collided.

Despite the disappointing result of the race last year at the Marina Bay Circuit, the Mercedes driver believes it was at that moment where he realised how he was suddenly directly under the spotlight, with him having forgotten that when racing for a frontrunning team, every radio comment made is like “talking to the whole world”.

“These are things that are part of the experience when you are at the front,” said Russell.

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“Everything is under the microscope and that kind of comment last year would not have been picked up on.

“But I think there are two parts of it: one, it’s fighting your case; but two, it’s you just trying to offload some frustrations. And you do sometimes forget you are talking to the whole world.”

Discussing his radio comment regarding Schumacher specifically, Russell believes there are outside factors as to why it sounded so aggressive, with it being linked to having travelled across the globe.

“My comment with Mick was more frustration from my side,” he added.

“I’ve travelled to the other side of the world, put so much effort into that race, and there I am fighting outside the points.

“I am frustrated, I am upset. And anybody who is frustrated or upset, physically exhausted, you are going to be a little bit emotional in the heat of the moment.

“If you go running on the treadmill for one and half hours in 30 degrees heat, with high humidity, and you’ve been overloaded mentally, then something happens that goes against you, you are going to be a bit frustrated.”

The incident clearly taught Russell a great deal, given that he went on to claim victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix last year.

He understands that in his current position in the sport he has “no privacy”, where “every single word” he says gets analysed by the millions watching across the world, something that didn’t happen whilst at Williams.

“This is part of my experience of, one, controlling this [frustration], and two, [thinking] ‘do I need to say it publicly?’ And I think that’s one of the challenges of this sport,” added the Brit.

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“You have no privacy. I have chosen to be the racing driver, because my dream is to become a Formula 1 world champion. My dream isn’t to be famous, to be in front of the TV cameras day in and day out. My job and my dream is to race and to win.

“Some of these comments, this is to achieve that, forgetting that there are millions and millions of  people watching at home and every single word is being written down and under the microscope.

“This is also an experience for me. As I said, I probably said a lot of comments like this previously over the radio, but no one gave two damns.”