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George Russell

Russell explains pit drama that led to investigation

The Mercedes driver explains the reason for stopping in the pit lane during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix having been placed under investigation along with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

Russell green light Mexico
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George Russell has explained the pit lane drama that prompted the stewards' investigation after Mexico City Grand Prix qualifying.

The Mercedes driver appeared to stop in the fast lane, which prevented rivals from taking to the track as the pit lane bottlenecked at exit.

Drivers must keep to a minimum lap time to prevent any unnecessary slow laps, but this is only measured from the second Safety Car line. This means it is possible for drivers to slow in the pits to create a gap, rather than carry out the move on track.

Russell feels it is safer to go through this process, rather than potentially risk cars slowing down on track and creating an unsafe situation.

"When everybody comes out of the pits at the same point, it's difficult to make a gap," Russell told media including RacingNews365.com.

"They ask us not to stop in the pit lane but if you don't make your gap in the pit lane, you have to make it on track.

"For me, it's quite dangerous if you're doing 10kph down a straight when cars are travelling 330kph on their push lap."

Russell reflects on 'up and down' Mexico qualifying

Russell will start the race from eighth after a difficult qualifying session which relied heavily on getting the Pirelli tyres into the right working window.

Mercedes opted to do its initial runs in Q3 on used sets but both Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton failed to improve their times when switched to new sets for the final attempts.

"It was just a totally up and down day. In FP3 we were the quickest at points and showed really strong pace," added Russell.

"We went out in Q1 with no grip and off the pace, in Q2 the car fell back to normal, and we went out in Q3 and the same happened again.

"Daniel [Ricciardo] was the only driver who was the most consistent. The Ferraris were off the pace at points, it's pretty frustrating when it's like this."

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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