Williams driver George Russell says his run without a points finish in Formula 1 is not “weighing on my shoulders” following a costly crash at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. 

Despite some impressive performances, Russell is yet to score a point from 34 grand prix starts, with his joint-best result coming with an 11th place finish at the Tuscan Grand Prix earlier this season. 

The Briton was left distraught after he crashed out under the Safety Car at Imola while he was running inside the top 10 in a mistake he labelled the “biggest” of his entire career. 

“Obviously it would be great to score some points at some point but ultimately it’s not something that’s weighing on my shoulders,” Russell said. 

“Ultimately, we go to every weekend trying to get the best result possible. There’s been a couple of moments that we’ve missed out on these opportunities when the opportunity’s been there, obviously that’s frustrating, but as a racing driver you look at the bigger picture and as a race team we want to be on these positions on merit - this is what we come racing for. 

“Okay, you had the Verstappen and Gasly retirement, two guys in the top 10, but we were absolutely fighting on merit in P12 for the majority of the race, and that’s something we have to be proud and pleased for, with the progress we made from last year. 

“Our car was not even close to being the 18th fastest car and now we’ve had a weekend where on merit we qualified 13th and were racing just outside the points so that is the bigger picture. 

"I’m sure when we do get the opportunity to be scoring week in week out we’ll look back on these moments and think they were some tough years but they made us stronger, made me a stronger driver, made the team stronger, and potentially in five years’ time I can look back on these moments and say these turned me into a better driver all round.”

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff jumped to Russell’s defence following his crash at Imola and said the “scar” of the incident would ultimately help his protege become a better driver. 

Russell admitted he needed a couple of days to get over his error and stressed he is heading into the final four rounds of the season with a positive mindset. 

“We’ve got to take away some positives from this and go to the next race with a positive frame of mind as we need to fight to get ourselves back in this position again,” he explained. 

“And I’m confident we can, we’ve made some breakthroughs with the set-up and understanding of the car in the last few weekends and I think we’re in a good position to be on the front foot of Alfa Romeo and Haas and definitely picking up places when people don’t optimise their sessions.” 

 

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