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Ross Brawn

F1 boss brushes off Russell's criticism: We don't listen to drivers at the back

After Saturday's Sprint race at Imola, George Russell criticised the lack of overtaking opportunities that presented themselves during the 21-lap event. But F1 Managing Director Ross Brawn says he's more concerned with the opinions of drivers towards the front of the pack.

Russell Imola
To news overview © XPB

F1 Managing Director Ross Brawn has dismissed concerns from Mercedes' George Russell about the lack of overtaking opportunities during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend.

Speaking after Saturday's Sprint event, in which he failed to make up any places after starting 11th, Russell complained of a "processional" race after being caught up in a DRS train.

But Brawn refuted Russell's accusation, drawing on his own prior experience as a Technical Director and Team Principal to suggest he was more concerned about the opinions of drivers further up the field.

"Whenever my driver's had a bad car, he's complained about the race," Brawn told media including RacingNews365.com.

"I think George's opinion, or the opinion of anyone at the back of the grid, is not the opinion that we really listen to.

"The opinions we listen to are the guys who were really competitive, racing in the middle, and at the front.

"[Mercedes] are in a very unfortunate position, but I don't think their position at the back of the grid is really one that reflects the true position of racing at the moment."

Brawn calls for "perspective" over complaints from backmarkers

Pressed whether the Sprint races are doing a good enough job of shaking up the pack, Brawn maintained that F1 is more concerned with the quality of the racing at the front.

"I just know, from my own experience, psychologically, a driver in the back of the grid has got all sorts of other things going on," said Brawn, who notably served as Team Principal of Mercedes between 2010 and 2013.

"It would be great if there were things going on at the back, but we had a Mercedes [during Imola's Sprint] that couldn't overtake the cars in front.

"But there was plenty of overtaking going on in the middle and at in the front."

He added: "Of course, we will listen, we won't ignore it, but I think you have to keep a perspective on it."

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