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Boardroom Q&A: George Russell

The superstar Mercedes F1 driver discusses his favorite athlete in a different sport, where he wants to see get a race, and more with Boardroom.

It’s pretty damn good to be George Russell.

The 24-year-old Formula 1 superstar is thriving in his first season at Mercedes after replacing Valtteri Bottas, currently fourth in the driver’s standings, even ahead of GOAT teammate Lewis Hamilton going into this weekend’s race in Brazil. The English-born Russell has rocketed up the racing hierarchy, signing with Williams at age 20 and debuting in F1 in 2019 at 21. A growing list of endorsement deals includes Mercedes, AMG, Bell Helmets, and Alpinestars in addition to 3.8 million Instagram followers and 1.7 million on Twitter.

At the F1 Las Vegas launch party last weekend in preparation for the inaugural race along the Strip in 2023, Russell answered some Boardroom rapid-fire questions on his favorite athlete in a different sport, his first car, where he wants to see get an F1 race, and more.

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SHLOMO SPRUNG: What’s your favorite track on the F1 schedule and why?

George Russell: Silverstone. It’s my home race. It’s fast and flowing. And I have a lot of good memories there.

SS: What’s your least favorite track and why?

GR: I probably would’ve said the track in Sochi, but we don’t race there anymore. So I don’t think I have a least favorite currently.

SS: Who’s the greatest F1 driver of all time?

GR: Statistically, Lewis Hamilton.

SS: Who’s your favorite athlete to watch in a different sport?

GR: It was definitely Roger Federer.

SS: What’s your favorite car to drive off the track in real life?

GR: G-Wagon

SS: What’s the most expensive thing you have bought?

GR: I haven’t really splashed out that much.

SS: What’s the dumbest purchase you ever made?

GR: Wow. I’m a pretty sensible guy. I can’t think of a dumbest purchase, but there definitely is one out there.

SS: If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?

GR: If I had 24 hours to live, a lot of people would probably say go to Vegas. I guess if it’s 24 hours from now, I mean, I’m already in Vegas, so there you go, halfway there. 

SS: What song really hypes you up before a big race?

GR: I listen to a bit of Coldplay. But it’s less about hyping up, more about chilling out and getting into a zone.

SS: What’s your favorite song of 2022?

GR: Probably Ed Sheeran, either “Shivers” or “Bad Habits.” I quite like them.

SS: What was the first car you ever had?

GR: My mum’s [Volkswagen] Polo. Stick shift.

SS: Do you have trouble staying within the speed limit when you’re driving on the streets?

GR: No. I’ve learned I need to be disciplined. Keep it to the race track.

SS: Have you learned that the hard way?

GR: Maybe.

SS: How would you describe Formula One to a child?

GR: Like the car your mum has, but really, really fast.

SS: Where would you like to see a Formula 1 race happen that is not on the schedule?

GR: Probably South Africa. Then we would be on every continent in the world except Antarctica, obviously.

SS: What do you think is going to happen next year in Vegas?

GR: I think it’s going to be wild. I think it’s going to be a great event, great race, and I’m super looking forward to it. And it has to be at night so it will allow everyone to recover on Sunday.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.