Russell 'not even thinking' about F1 world title in 2022

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George Russell says he's approaching this year's campaign with Mercedes with the "exact same mindset" as in previous seasons, and insists he isn't thinking about challenging for the world title.

Russell's move to the championship winning team that has dominated F1 since the advent of the sport's hybrid era has led to pundits to perceive the 24-year-old Briton as a genuine title contender in 2022.

And Mercedes' performance in pre-season testing last week in Barcelona, where Lewis Hamilton and Russell topped the timesheet may have only reinforced that perception.

But Russell says he isn't harboring any thoughts of winning the world championship.

"It's not even something I'm thinking about, to be honest," Russell said last week in Spain.

"I think it’s quite incredible how racing drivers’ minds work, that when you put the helmet on – doesn’t matter if you’re fighting for a win or, for me for the last few years, fighting at the back of the grid – you always get on with the exact same mindset."

Russell says his remarkable one-off with Mercedes in Bahrain in 2020, a race he nearly won as Lewis Hamilton's substitute, was a good case of him relying on the same mindset as usual, regardless of the venue or the stakes.

"I had the best example of that in Bahrain when I raced for Mercedes," he explained. "For me, that was just another race.

"Whether I was out in front or starting on the front row, the approach is the same, the mindset is the same, the work you put into the event, post-event, is exactly the same.

"So, work on the process and worry about everything afterwards."

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