George Russell says he doesn’t like ‘the American way’

A pre-race driver introduction was trialled in Miami for the first time since the 2017 United States Grand Prix.

George Russell has openly admitted that he wasn’t a fan of Sunday’s pre-race driver introduction ahead of the second Miami Grand Prix, with the Mercedes driver having found the ceremony “distracting”.

Similar to what was trialled a few years ago at the United States Grand Prix to mixed reviews, each driver was introduced ahead of the race at the Miami International Autodrome, allowing fans to demonstrate their support.

One by one, each driver was introduced by rapper LL Cool J, whilst fellow artist conducted an orchestra.

Several drivers weren’t overly pleased with the pre-race celebration given how soon it took place before they jumped into the cockpit, with Russell believing it was done for the “entertainment world” rather than for the sport.

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“We spoke about it as drivers on Friday night,” Russell said.

“Everybody’s got different personalities. I guess it’s the American way of doing things, doing sport.

“Personally, probably not for me. But you know, that’s just my personal opinion. I’m here to race you know, I’m not here for the show. 

“I’m a driver, I’m here to win, and I guess we have to roll with it. It is distracting because, you know, we were on the grid for half an hour in all of our overalls in the sun. 

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“I don’t think there are any other sports in the world that 30 minutes before you go out to do your business that you’re out there in the sun, all the cameras on you, and making a bit of a show of it. 

“Can appreciate that in the entertainment world, but as I said, we only want the best for the sport. We’re open to changes, but I guess we wouldn’t want to see it every weekend.”

Lewis Hamilton on the other hand, was a big fan of the driver intro, with the seven-time World Champion having shown his support for F1 “trying to improve the show”.

The 38-year-old received one of the biggest cheers as he was introduced to Miami, with the driver adding that the ceremony “was cool”.

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“I think it’s cool that the sport is continuously growing and evolving and they’re not just doing the same thing they’ve done in the past,” Hamilton said. 

“They’re trying new things, they’re trying to improve the show always, and I’m in full support of it. Geez, I grew up listening to LL Cool J, and LL Cool J was there. That’s cool. 

“You look over, you’ve got who’s an incredible artist. You’ve got Serena and Venus [Williams] standing there. I thought it was cool.”