Russell explains why de Vries has faced ‘harsh’ start in F1

George Russell believes that the circuits visited during the early stages of the 2023 Formula 1 season have proved “harsh” for Nyck de Vries and his fellow rookies.

With several street tracks and temporary circuits featuring at the start of the calendar, Russell acknowledges that this has made things more difficult for many teams, particularly in terms of gaining an understanding of the car.

The Mercedes driver also feels that such a schedule is particularly challenging for those drivers new to the sport and especially for de Vries.

While the Dutchman has experience in other categories including Formula 2 and Formula E – as well as having previously acted as a reserve driver at the Silver Arrows – it has been a tough start to his first full-time season in F1, with continued scrutiny over his seat at AlphaTauri.

Russell on ‘harsh’ start to 2023 for de Vries

“It’s a very challenging start to the season for teams to understand the cars, for rookies coming into the championship,” Russell told media, including

“I think that’s also why it all looks quite harsh on a driver like Nyck, for example. He’s an experienced driver but [it’s his] first year in F1.

“It’s not an easy start to the season with the circuits that [are] on the calendar. [I’m ] definitely looking forward to more normal tracks.”

Despite this, Russell acknowledges that the challenge posed by visiting different venues adds to the appeal of Formula 1.

“That’s the excitement that this sport [gives],” the Briton added.

“If it’s straightforward for everybody, nobody’s going to be able to take a competitive advantage. You need these challenges for the best drivers to come out on top, the best teams, the best engineers to come out on top.

“If it’s too easy for everybody, you’re not going to get those differences.”

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