Unfortunately, Mercedes had a bittersweet weekend at the Red Bull Ring during the Austrian GP. The Silver Arrows were quite surprised by their qualifying pace on Friday. They looked to be on route to challenge the frontrunners for the sprint and main race. However, both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crashed during the qualifying on Friday. After that, Mercedes was forced to rebuild their car, fitting in new parts, with Hamilton opting for a spare chassis. However, the damage to their cars probably impacted their performance, with Hamilton finishing P3 and Russell in P4, quite behind Charles Leclerc at P1, and Max Verstappen at P2.
George Russell Explained The Crash With Perez
Recently, George Russell shared that the Lap 1 contact with Perez, the subsequent penalty, and a slower pit stop cost him a chance of competing for the podium. The 24-year-old fell behind to P17. However, he fought back to finish P4 after 71 laps. Russell also received a five-second penalty after making contact with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during the opening stages of Sunday’s race. Moreover, the Mercedes car suffered damage, resulting in a slower pit stop to change his car’s nose. Thus, George felt that the delays and the damage were the reason to finish behind Lewis and miss out on a podium opportunity.
After the race, Russell stated that it felt like he missed an opportunity. He was quite frustrated by the events of the first lap and felt like the penalty was quite harsh. The Briton further revealed that he braked hard and steered as much as possible. George added Carlos Sainz was in front of his car, and Perez was on the clean line down the outside.
George Russell Felt He Missed A Podium Opportunity
Russell advocated that he was already on the limit of his car and the angle he was coming in. He could not do much more. The Mercedes driver admitted that he was at fault as per the law. Russell explained if the attacking driver on the outside is ahead, the driver on the inside needs to leave space. However, George insisted that there was nothing more he could have done after braking as he was already on his W13’s limit. He added, “So that was harsh.”
Russell further pointed out that the contact with Perez hindered his chances of finishing at the podium. George said the contact with Perez was just one issue. However, the damage cost him about ten seconds at the start. And then, another 15 seconds at the pitstop, leaving the British driver in P17. But George was happy that Mercedes maximized the points. He told, “I feel like there was an opportunity for me to be on the podium today.”