Something's gone wrong
Something’s gone wrong.
11 July 2022
POWER RANKINGS: How the drivers rank on our leaderboard at the F1 summer break
'I went through every single thing an F1 driver goes through in 10 years' says Zhou after first half of rookie season
WATCH: The top 5 best duels between Leclerc and Verstappen so far in 2022
Mekies reveals F2 runner-up Shwartzman to run Ferrari’s FP1 rookie sessions in 2022
TECH TUESDAY: Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of every car on the 2022 F1 grid
Discover more news
After a Lap 1 collision with Sergio Perez, the subsequent damage, penalty, and a slow pit stop, Mercedes driver George Russell was left recovering from P17 to P4 in Austria.
Russell had an eventful weekend, crashing out of Q3 along with team mate Lewis Hamilton, before copping a five-second penalty for a coming together with Red Bull’s Perez at the start of the Grand Prix. The resulting five-second penalty, plus a slow pit stop to change his W13’s nose, and the damage he was carrying from the contact, saw Russell have to fight from 17th to finish behind podium-sitter Hamilton (P3).
MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: Unpicking the mystery of how Ferrari turned the tables on Red Bull in the Austrian GP
“I feel like it’s a missed opportunity,” said Russell. “Obviously frustrating to have a sort of first-lap incident like that. I thought the penalty was harsh; I braked as hard as I could and I was steering as much as I could – I had Carlos ahead of me and Checo was on the clean line down the outside, and I knew as soon as he turned in we were going to make contact.
“So I was already on the limit of my car and the angle he was coming in, I couldn’t do more. To the letter of the law, I was in the wrong, because if the attacking driver on the outside is ahead, the guy on the inside needs to leave space – but as I said, from the second I braked, there’s nothing more I could’ve done because I was already on the limit of my car. So that was harsh.”
Russell explained that the consequences of the contact hurt his chances of scoring a podium, which Hamilton ended up securing for the team after Carlos Sainz’s fiery retirement.
“[The contact with Perez], that’s one thing, and then the damage also cost me probably 10 seconds at the start, of race time; it cost me another 15 seconds at the pit stop and put me in P17.
READ MORE: ‘There was nothing I could have done differently’ – Perez reveals frustration as Russell clash causes early DNF in Austria
“So, yes, I don’t know. Long afternoon. Glad as a team we maximised the points, but I feel like there was an opportunity for me personally to be on the podium today.”
Russell also expressed surprise that Mercedes’ qualifying pace was better than their race pace, and admitted that the qualifying crash probably didn’t help their chances on Sunday.
“I think this is the first weekend of the season that our quali pace has been quicker than our race pace, and that’s sort of caught us by surprise a little bit,” he said.
READ MORE: IndyCar star Colton Herta set for two-day McLaren test in Portimao
“After qualifying we thought: ‘Yes, we’re in the mix here’. But that didn’t carry through into the race.
“So, we need to understand that; it’s obviously been a challenging weekend for us, the team. For the damage we incurred on Friday, the team did an amazing job to get both cars back out, but I’m sure the cars probably weren’t at their 100% potential given the circumstances.”
WATCH: Drawmula 1! We asked the F1 drivers to design a t-shirt – but whose is the best?
Our writers pick out their top three drivers, best performances and biggest shocks of the 2022 season so far
PALMER: Mercedes will get their first win of 2022 soon – but can they also catch Ferrari?
Mercedes announce 50%+ reduction in CO2 emissions and significant increase in female and ethnic minority workforce
The man behind the racer – Lawrence Barretto on getting to know the real Sebastian Vettel
Download the Official F1 App
© 2003-2022 Formula One World Championship Limited