Russell feels duty to 'entertain loyal fans' with Esports action


George Russell says his involvement in motorsport's current Esports craze is a good way of providing entertainment to F1's loyal fans during the sport's hiatus.

Russell joined the online action when it became clear that F1 would endure a prolonged break as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Williams driver joined Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Alex Albon as F1's core quartet of high-profile sim racers taking part in F1's official Virtual Grand Prix series and in various other online racing events which have proved tremendously popular with motorsport's fans.

"I feel a bit of duty as such to provide a bit of entertainment for the F1 fans," said Russell in F1's weekly F1 Nation Podcast.

"We’ve got these amazing, loyal fans out there who have nothing to support and if we can provide a bit of entertainment with Esports stuff or anything we are doing online with streaming and they appreciate and enjoy it, then that’s great."

As competitive rivals, Formula 1 drivers typically do not spend much time together away from the racetrack. But the virtual world has definitely generated a closer relationship between those who meet and race online.

"There are about six of us, myself, Charles, Alex, Lando, Nicholas [Latifi] and Antonio [Giovinazzi], our relationship has grown a little since Esports has come along, especially myself, Alex and Charles," Russell revealed.

"We’ve always been friends but we’re talking every day at the moment. It’s a different dynamic from being competitors. Me and Alex are best mates so it’s always been different with me and him.

"But for the rest of us, we’re obviously competitors so it’s not normally natural to have this sort of relationship with these guys, but it’s been good."

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