George Russell reveals most high pressure moment while speaking to Harry Kane

George Russell replaced Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix after the seven-time World Champion tested positive for COVID-19.

George Russell has interestingly revealed his most “high-pressure situation” since having moved to Formula 1 in 2019, with the moment in particular having an interesting link to current Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Whilst Russell officially became a Mercedes driver at the start of 2022, the 25-year-old actually made his debut for the Silver Arrows at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix after Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19.

His positive COVID test ruled Hamilton out of the weekend, with Williams having given Russell permission to replace him, whilst Jack Aitken replaced Russell.

Russell performed unbelievably well on his Mercedes debut despite it having been the most pressurising moment of his career so far, due to knowing that it was his chance to show just how good he was.

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He qualified second alongside Valtteri Bottas but actually led into Turn One, before remaining in the lead for the bulk of the race.

A pit-stop error by Mercedes ultimately robbed Russell of victory after he was fitted with Bottas’ front tyres, resulting in him pitting again.

He nevertheless finished ninth, to claim his first points in F1.

“On paper, the most high-pressure situation I’ve found myself in was when I replaced Lewis Hamilton in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix when he, unfortunately, had Covid,” Russell said whilst in conversation with England and Tottenham captain Harry Kane.

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“I went from a team that was right at the back of the grid to the championship-winning team. We were by far the quickest car on the grid. That was my moment to kind of prove to the world what I was capable of.

“So there was a lot of pressure in that moment.”

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Whilst Russell felt a “lot of pressure” before jumping in the car, the Briton added how it all disappeared “once the helmet was on”, with him having then forgotten that he was in a Mercedes and also leading the race.

“Going back to before, once the helmet was on I didn’t even think that I was in a Mercedes,” added Russell.

“I didn’t even realise I was leading the Grand Prix, it was just flowing.”