George ready for challenges of Sochi
Formula One moves on to the Sochi Autodrom for round 15 of the 2021 season for the Russian Grand Prix.
Fan question: What were your parents’ reaction when you started to race and how did they support you?
They were supportive as I was doing something I loved, and I think that was really important for me. But I think, equally quite scared, nervous, and I’m fortunate I can't see or feel what my parents are feeling when I'm on the racetrack, but I've been next to other drivers’ parents while I've been watching them. I remember a race I sat next to Alex Albon's mum and hadn't even I'd never even met Alex's mother until this point. She just grabbed on to me, shaking and so tense, watching her son drive so I can imagine what parents must feel seeing us drive but we’re doing something we love, and they were very supportive.
Journalist question: Could you please explain how that appointment to GPDA director came about and also why you want to take on that role?
Firstly, I wanted to take on that role because I think what the GPA has done over so many years has been great for the sport. Whenever we've had our briefings between all of the drivers, we’d stay after the drivers briefing and we would talk about certain issues or ways we believe we can improve the sport, safety, whatever it may be. Obviously, it was slightly harder in 2020 with the logistical issues of COVID, I always quite enjoyed putting my opinion forward and having a voice for the drivers is something I'm quite proud of. I’m looking forward to that and I think I've got a very good relationship with a lot of the younger drivers, so I guess Sebastian's almost representing the older half of the grid and I’m potentially representing the younger half of the grid.
Journalist question: Why was it important for you to take this role?
I think for me personally, if I can look back in 20 years’ time, and say ‘I was a part of a positive change or Formula One’, I think the future of Formula One is looking incredibly bright with Liberty [Media] and now with Stefano and Ross at the helm. And from our side, I think the driver is having a stronger and stronger voice to help shape the future of sport and we're in a unique position to be the ones who feel it from the drivers perspective which is obviously a huge part of Formula One, so I think being at the forefront with Sebastian and Alex Wurz to push forward these views of the drivers towards Formula One, towards the FIA, and if I can look back and say I was part of that there'll be something I'll be proud of.
Journalist question: Do you think there's still scope for GPA to expand its role and how big a say it has with steering the direction of the sport? What do you see as the future of the GPA for however long you're playing an important part?
I think over the past couple of years, obviously I've only been in Formula One for the past two seasons, but that involvement we as drivers are having with Formula One, with the FIA is increasing year on year. And Formula One are definitely open and they really want us to be even more involved. So, what the future can hold, I'm not too sure. I think potentially just further outside the Formula One and more motor sport in general would be fantastic really, but obviously I’m the new boy on the blocks in this role so I can't give too many opinions at the moment, just listen and learn and find my feet as time progresses.
The first race of the 2021 season will get underway at the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday March 28 at 16:00 GMT.