Russell: European progression can snowball Wolves' success

Formula 1 star George Russell believes Wolves’ success over the past few years can continue to snowball as Nuno Espirito Santo’s team venture further into the Europa League.

The Williams driver, who secured the Formula 2 championship last season, has grown up as an occasional follower of the Wolves due to his father being a season ticket holder at Molineux, but the 21-year-old returned to the stadium for the Premier League match against Manchester United and spoke to about his support of those in gold and black.

On taking in the atmosphere at Molineux

I really enjoyed being back at Molineux for the game against Manchester United.

“My father’s a season ticket holder at Wolves and comes to the games week in, week out. I’ve only been to the Wolves about eight or nine games over the years, but each time I come to the games I get converted into an even bigger fan.”

On his growing support for Wolves

“I’ve always followed Wolves through my father and have always enjoyed football, but I wouldn’t call myself an out and out massive supporter.

“Since going into Formula 1 it’s been really difficult to follow the team as much as I would like because we’re racing all over the world every week and the games are usually happening at the same time.

“Even though I might have lost touch slightly, it was nice to come back to the stadium during my summer break and catch a game. Being at Molineux and seeing the atmosphere always gives you a real buzz. Just from that one game I will be getting back into it again.”

On his impressions of Nuno’s side

“I followed the team throughout last season and saw the progression the club has made over the years, not only since the owners have come in, but I was here when they won the League One title in 2014.

“I think I might have been sat in the same seat as I was in the Man United game when the celebrations were going on, so I’ve seen them from where they were, coming through in the Championship, to where they are now.

“The journey the club has been on in the past five years has been great and it will be great to see where they end up at the end of the season.”

On Wolves making their mark in Europe

“It’s brilliant for the supporters to see the Wolves name back in Europe, and I believe the club’s progression has snowballed in the past two years.

“Hopefully, the further the club can go in the Europa League the more this success will snowball the club even more and will bring even bigger and better things to Molineux.”

On taking the 2018 Formula 2 title

“Winning anything like Formula 2 is an incredible achievement, but now I’m at the next level in Formula 1 and it’s been a tough year so far.

“There are so many people involved in just making the race car. When I was in Formula 2, there was just one engineer and two mechanics, whereas now at Williams I have 700 people building this car.”

On aims for the rest of the 2019 F1 season

“Unfortunately, things are not going perfectly for us as a team, but a bit like Wolves were a few years ago, we’re a big name in the sport who are rebuilding those foundations to come back stronger.

“It’s not something that we will be able to fix immediately, it will take time.

“So far this season we’ve been the slowest team on the grid, but the hope is to close that gap, while looking towards 2020 and building those foundations to be a strong midfield team next year.”