George Russell rocked up to the Dutch Grand Prix with a scar on his wrist after making the most of his summer break. The Mercedes star admitted that he did not tell team boss Toto Wolff, who himself suffered an injury while mountain biking during the summer.
It turned out to be a torrid weekend for Russell in Zandvoort, as he ended up finishing 17th and outside the points after a series of questionable strategy calls from those in the Silver Arrows’ garage.
Taking the chequered flag that far down the pecking order certainly wasn’t how the Englishman wanted to get back into the swing of things after a four-week summer break. Russell did at least enjoy his time away from the track, admitting that learning to foilboard was on the agenda, but a minor accident landed him with a painful cut on the wrist.
“Toto is a person who does a lot of activities,” he told Beyond The Grid. “He sort of lets Lewis [Hamilton] get away with it, but when it comes to me [laughs].
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“I sort of had this mentality change where I can’t wrap myself up in bubble wrap. I know my boundaries and limits. I get my exhilaration from the race track.
“But long story short, I was learning to foilboard in Spain, and on my first day I fell off, caught my wrist and sliced my wrist open a bit. I didn’t let Toto know, but he had just sent me a photo of a broken bone on holiday!”
Wolff evidently does his best to keep his Mercedes duo in prime shape during the F1 season, and Russell claims that he and his boss have spent time together unwinding away from the track by learning to freedive. The 25-year-old moved to Monaco earlier this year, where he lives not far away from the Mercedes team principal and his wife, Susie.
“I see them all the time in Monaco,” Russell continued. “We go to the gym together, have coffee together daily. We don’t really talk about racing, to be honest. We’re learning to freedive together at the moment.
“We went with Lewis on our first experience into the water. I’m a kid from the countryside in the UK, watersports activities were never a thing. Suddenly this life has exposed me to so much which I’m so grateful for.”
Russell and Hamilton are both set to prolong their spell together at Mercedes, having each signed contract extensions earlier this year, which will take them until the end of 2025.