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We had a race-wining car, insists Russell

NEWS STORY
03/10/2022

George Russell believes that but for a too early switch to slicks and an encounter with Mick Schumacher, his Singapore Grand Prix could have been entirely different.

Suffering a brake issue in qualifying, the Briton failed to make it to Q3 for the first time since Imola, his race further compromised when Mercedes opted to take on a new engine, thereby demoting him to a pitlane start.

On Lap 21, having worked his way up to 15th, Russell was told to pit, his team switching him to slicks, the first driver to do so.

As he slithered and struggled over the course of the next few laps all eyes were on him, and even Russell himself feared a dreadful mistake had been made. Indeed, told of the decision, even Max Verstappen described it as "brave".

But gradually, despite his initial fears and some worrying hairy moments, conditions began to improve as did his pace.

Unfortunately, a late clash with Mick Schumacher resulted in a puncture which killed off any hopes of a revival.

"Obviously at the time, it was totally the wrong decision," he said of the early switch to slicks (mediums). "But it did pay dividends later down the line.

"When we had that safety car and the restart, I overtook three cars in one lap, and was up to P11 before the incident with Mick."

The "incident with Mick" necessitated Russell's third stop of the afternoon, thereby condemning him to the back of the field.

"Obviously I had the tangle with Mick, I don't really know what happened there," admitted the Briton. "I feel like I left him plenty of space.

"We would've probably finished inside the points because we were flying," he sighed. "We set the fastest lap at the end by almost two seconds.

"I'm pleased that the issues from yesterday have been resolved, and I guess a bit of confidence restored that I haven't lost it and I didn't qualify three seconds off the pace due to lack of talent or whatever. But it's such a shame, we had a car to win this week.

"In such a long and demanding season we were bound to have one that didn't go our way, so we chalk this one off and move on to Japan. We have lots of work to do ahead of Suzuka but it was positive to experience the car's potential today."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Singapore here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 04/10/2022 14:14

"Russel said 'we have a race winning car'...that maybe so but on the day they didn't have 'race winning drivers'. Very scrappy . "

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Chester, 04/10/2022 12:10

"My esteem for Russell is quickly falling. That is probably mostly my fault since I really don't like Mercedes, but I do think Russell has become quite a politician, and to me, more-so than other drivers.

As Joe Perry of Aerosmith said long ago "let the music do the talking", so I say to Russell, "let the driving do the talking, sir"."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Spindoctor, 04/10/2022 10:12

"Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
Unfortunately for George you don't always get the lucky breaks. "

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4. Posted by Tardis40, 03/10/2022 16:31

"And if the hunting dog didn't stop to relieve himself he would have caught the rabbit.

It's easy to make excuses in hindsight. More difficult to do it correctly under pressure."

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