Fernando Alonso: Russell ‘very impressive’ in uncompetitive car

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Fernando Alonso says that he has been extremely impressed by how George Russell has performed at Williams since joining the grid.

Russell has been driving for the team ever since he joined the grid at the start of the 2019 campaign, and while he has yet to score a point for them, has been widely praised for his performances.

In both of his first two years, he made it into Q2 an impressive number of times and was more often than not far stronger than his team-mates.

Alonso, who recently wrote “future world champ” on the Brit’s helmet when signing it, is one of those to have been impressed by how he has performed in the machinery he has at his disposal and has been for a while.

“Definitely very impressed,” the Spaniard said.

“I said also last year when I was following the sport that I think he has been very, very impressive with the performance we saw in the Williams.

“We know that it is not a competitive package. It is better this year but not in the last two [years] and [despite that] I think he was putting in something special every weekend and that was nice to watch at home.

“That is something you always get impressed by.”

George Russell Valtteri Bottas

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In the penultimate race of the 2020 campaign in Bahrain, Russell got the chance to show what he could do in a top car for the first time, replacing Lewis Hamilton after the World Champion tested positive for COVID-19.

He was hugely impressive, leading the race ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas before a pit-stop issue took away what looked set to be his first victory.

Alonso says that display from the 23-year-old was clear evidence to the world of Formula 1 of the talent that he possesses.

“The opportunity with the Mercedes… I think it was a real opportunity for everyone to watch what a driver with the talent of George can do with a winning car,” the Alpine driver added.

“He nearly won the first race at the first opportunity he had. That, I think, was proof for many people, not only a few, that we knew how good he was.

“That race in Bahrain was enough to open [the eyes] of millions of people.”

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