Russell keen to test 'anything with four wheels' before F1 season starts

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George Russell says he hopes to test "anything that's got four wheels" before the new Formula 1 season starts next month.

The Austrian Grand Prix, now confirmed for July 5, will end the sport's longest break between races in its 70-year history, coming seven months after last year's Abu Dhabi finale.

As a result, one concern some have for that weekend is rustiness, as drivers haven't been in the cockpit since pre-season testing in February, but Russell hopes to find a way to get back into the groove before arriving in Spielberg.

“That’s something I’ll really be trying to do,” he told Sky Sports. “I think realistically karting will be the first opportunity I get. As soon as I can, I’ll be karting.

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“But ultimately I want to try and jump in a Formula 1 car before we go back racing again.

"So whether that’s in a Williams or in a Mercedes, we have to wait and see, just to get some laps under our belt, but it may even be in a Formula 3 or Formula 2 car as well.

"Anything that’s got four wheels and can go around a race track I think will be better than nothing.”

Like many, Russell has been using home simulators to at least continue driving virtually, but he notes the speed and G-forces are something he can't replicate.

“Unlike other sports, [with] motorsport, I don't think there are any drivers with a race circuit and a Formula 1 car in their back garden," he added.

"It’s not like a footballer who can just go out and kick a football and do their own trade.

“It’s very difficult. I’m doing everything I can in the gym I’ve got here, cardio-wise, either running or cycling.

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So close... 😂 Happy Sunday people ✌️

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"Also from a mental standpoint, [I'm] just trying to keep myself occupied, doing things like learning to juggle and stay on the ball as much as I can.

"I've recently invested in more top quality simulator equipment and started not only to do it for fun but actually started training on there and thinking 'You know what? This is the closest I've got to reality and I need to just stay sharp and be ready for whenever we go back."

Recently commenting on getting back up to speed in Austria though, McLaren's Carlos Sainz doubts it will take all that long.

“To find the proper limit of a Formula 1 car? I think it will take a few laps to feel exactly 100%, but not many,” he told

“Maybe FP1, you go out with a hard set of tyres, you do push, cool, push, cool, push, then all of a sudden you put a new set on and go quicker and you say: ‘oh, now I start to feel the G-forces and the braking points’ and I get my head around a Formula 1 car again.

“I would say not more than 10 laps and I am back to 100%.”