Russell: I won’t sulk over losing P6 to Hamilton

Daily News
7 Min Read
Russell: I won’t sulk over losing P6 to Hamilton

George Russell said he would not “sulk” over losing sixth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to team-mate Lewis Hamilton after Mercedes brought him in for a late pit stop.

Hamilton passed Yuki Tsunoda at the start to move up to seventh and directly behind Russell, who swapped his medium tyres for the hard compound at the end of lap 21.

Hamilton stayed out for six more laps of the 63-lap contest before making his own stop, giving him a tyre advantage as the race headed towards its closing stages.

With Russell’s tyres going off and leaving him at high risk of being overtaken by Hamilton, and by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez if he had stayed out for longer and was then forced to pit, Mercedes decided to bring him in so he would come out in front of the Mexican.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola.

Hamilton would claim the eight points on offer for finishing sixth, while Russell took six points for coming seventh, plus an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race on his fresh tyres.

“You’re never going to be happy with P6 and P7,” Russell told Sky Sports F1.

“At the end of the day, as a team we scored an extra point. I lost my position to Lewis but I’m not going to sulk over losing a P6.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explained why Russell was told, during a discussion over team radio before he stopped, that Hamilton would not let him through to retake sixth.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ted Kravitz runs through all the major talking points from Imola in the Emilia Romagna paddock.

“His lap times were getting slower and slower, and our forecast saw he was not going to make it to the end and we didn’t want to lose the position to Perez,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

“Lewis would have probably taken him anyway. The point being that we are racing for P6 and P7 and wanted to keep the Red Bull behind. It was a safety call.”

Hamilton and Russell: We are in no man’s land

Mercedes remained well off the pace of world championship leader Max Verstappen, who held off Lando Norris for victory after a late charge from the McLaren driver.

Charles Leclerc took the final podium spot for Ferrari, with his team-mate Carlos Sainz fifth behind McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

“This is where we are right now,” Russell added. “A little bit in no man’s land behind the Ferraris and McLarens but ahead of the midfield.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell said ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP that Mercedes have found their ‘North Star’.

“Everyone is still super motivated, the morale isn’t dropping at all, which is quite inspiring to say. Everyone is trying to make this work and improve it.

“Everyone in Brackley and Brixworth are working full gas right now, which is great to see. We have got to keep on pushing.

“At the end of the day, we maximised it.”

Hamilton, who is leaving Mercedes at the end of the season to join Ferrari, offered a similar assessment to his team-mate.

“We got points, so that’s a positive,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

“We are a bit in the middle of no man’s land, but I think that was a strong finish in general for us. I don’t think there was much more for us to give.”

Wolff: We are making steps

Having failed to design a championship-contending car for the third year of Formula 1’s latest design regulations, Mercedes have endured a miserable start to their 2024 campaign.

They have amassed just 79 points from the opening seven rounds, and are already 189 points behind leaders Red Bull.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Toto Wolff gives insight into what was discussed at the team principals dinner in Imola.

The upgrades they brought to Miami and Imola appear to have provided slightly more stability, but they have accepted they won’t be able to compete with the front-runners until their next batch of upgrades arrives at some point during the summer.

“You can’t see it on the result that we are making steps with where we want the car to be,” Wolff added.

“We are 30-plus seconds off the quickest guys and that’s a lot P6 and P7 us nothing to be proud of.

“You can hear the frustration in my voice but there is more to come and it’s incremental, marginal gains we need to make. This is how the sport goes.”

Next up it’s time for the most-famous F1 race of them all – the Monaco Grand Prix. Watch every session from the famous street circuit from Friday live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

Share This Article
Leave a comment