Triple interview: Russell, Norris and Albon

George Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon drive for three different teams, but all three are considered excellent drivers and it seems like they wouldn’t even mind being teammates one day. You can come to this conclusion if you get acquainted with their answers to questions from the official website of the championship.

Question: Five years ago you were fighting each other for the title in Formula 2 and for a place in Formula 1. What emotions did you experience then, because the rivalry was quite intense, but no one gave you any guarantees?
George Russell: “Fought” is an exaggeration! Five years ago we competed against each other! (laughs)

Alex Albon: Everything was fine then, except that George’s car had the best engine. And Lando only had a good engine at the beginning of the season.

George Russell: What do you say, what do you mean! I remember in Bahrain, in the first qualifying of the season, I only lost a tenth and a half to Lando in the 12th corner! As for my mood, I hardly thought about Formula 1 at the time.

Lando Norris: And I just thought about Formula 1.

George Russell: Yes, yes, that’s why I won that championship! (laughs)

Alex Albon: I remember there was a lot of talk about you both before the start of the season, and all this noise made me think, “These two guys are apparently going to go far!” And in Bahrain you showed two best results in qualifying. And then I came third, and I didn’t like that: “If it all starts like this, there’s nothing good in it.”

George Russell: I remember being very angry that I missed out on pole position in Bahrain.

Lando Norris: I remember you didn’t perform that well in the first race either.

George Russell: Agree.

Q: Who was the first person to be told he would continue his career in Formula 1, and did you share this news with others?
Alex Albon: Maybe you had more guarantees.

George Russell: I think Lando was the first. They already told him this in Monza. And my contract was confirmed in Sochi.

Alex Albon: And mine, I believe, was only during the pre-season testing in Barcelona! (laughs)

Question: Although George won the F2 title, he had the least competitive car in Formula 1 at the start of his career. Were you jealous of Lando and Alex at the time?
George Russell: Yes, there was a bit. Especially Alex, because he already moved to Red Bull in the second half of the season! As for me, I remember how in the first qualifying in Australia I lost more than three and a half seconds from pole position, and in the race I lost three laps to the leader.

Of course it was frustrating, but at the same time I now think that although we are happy when we earn points, the only thing that can really make us happy is winning the championship. I think Mac Verstappen is happy with everything now.

Lando Norris: I have no doubt that I am satisfied! (laughs)

George Russell: I want to say that you always want to achieve more. Lewis Hamilton is a good example because he already has seven titles, but that is not enough for him.

Lando Norris: He’s just greedy! (laughs) But are you still happy to be competing in Formula 1?

George Russell: I am happy and grateful for this, but I want to reach a higher level.

Q: What do you consider your most important achievement?
Lando Norris: There were so many! Maybe pole in Sochi in 2021.

George Russell: And then I showed the third result. Alex, where were you that day?

Alex Albon: I didn’t participate in Formula 1 at all then.

George Russell: That’s right, I forgot. And yet, let’s return to the best performances…

Lando Norris: I think either the very first podium of 2020 or a podium at Silverstone this season.

Alex Albon: And I have nothing special to brag about…

George Russell: In 2019 you were second in Brazil, but Lewis crashed into your car.

Alex Albon: Yes, the best day of my life, nothing to say! I think my best race was my very first Grand Prix with Red Bull, when I finished fifth in Spa.

George Russell: I still remember how famously you overtook Daniel Ricciardo on the outside stretch. But I can say for myself that my best performance was my first victory. No, I still appreciate the second result in qualifying in Spa two years ago more because it was the biggest surprise.

Q: What result upset you the most?
Lando Norris: Result in the Russian Grand Prix in 2020.

George Russell: In my case this is probably Hockenheim 2019. During the season Robert Kubica and I took the last and penultimate place. I think I was ahead of him 19 times in the 21st race. And then, five laps before the finish, I made a mistake, but we still finished 12th and 13th that day.

And then it turned out that two drivers had been fined, and I remember James Vowles calling me and saying that I had earned my first point in Formula 1. But I said, “No, no, Robert is in front of me.” So he was the only one in the top ten. Of course I was very worried at the time.

Alex Albon: I’ve had a lot of bad moments, but I’ll pick the first race of 2021, when I first saw you struggling from the sidelines on the track in Bahrain.

Question: Which of you is most likely to become world champion in five years?
Alex Albon: It depends on which team Lando will play for. But I think George has to win the title first. Although Mercedes is not in the best shape right now…

George Russell: In fact, I’m proud that you say that, even though our team is now in second place in the Constructors’ Championship. But this is Formula 1: who would have thought at the beginning of this year that Aston Martin would go so fast, and McLaren would have problems with speed. And now it’s the other way around.

Alec Albon: Lando, do you think you can stay at this level?

Lando Norris: I think so.

Question: Who was your best when you debuted in Formula 1, and who is your best now?
George Russell: I hate these kinds of questions! I think if we all drove McLaren cars, Lando would be the fastest. If I drove a Mercedes, then probably me. And if it was Williams, then Alex. But there will never be a way to check this.

Lando Norris: In general it’s hard to say.

Alex Albon: If only we were all partners… For example, in MotoGP there are teams where three riders compete.

George Russell: By the way, yes! It would be interesting if Formula 1 also had such teams.

Source: F1 News

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