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Russell explains qualifying incident: Not the wisest choice I ever made

George Russell's spin during Q3 of qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix brought out the red flags. Despite this, the Mercedes driver will still start from third on the grid for Saturday's Sprint race.

George Russell admits that his attempt to return to the track following his spin in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix was not his "wisest choice". With eight minutes left in Q3, Russell spun off the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace into the gravel at Turn 4. After attempting a 360 in the hope of getting back onto the circuit, his Mercedes became beached. The incident brought out a red flag and, with rain falling by the time that the session resumed, nobody was able to improve on their lap time set in the earlier part of the session. That enabled Russell to hold onto P3, while Kevin Magnussen clinched a surprise pole position for Saturday's Sprint race.

Russell reflects on 'mixed emotions' of session

"I think [there were] probably more mixed emotions [for me] because we were obviously one of the last cars to go out in qualifying," Russell explained after the session. "It was such a unique experience because, as the lap progressed, the rain was just falling harder and harder. "In the last corner, it was a lot wetter than it was on the lap before, so you had to be really tentative." Reflecting on his incident, Russell acknowledges that his attempt to recover did not pay off. "I've broken the headrest because my head was banging so much," the Briton said. "It was a pretty unpleasant experience. I lost the rear, I booted it; I wanted to do a 360, and then did the rears in the gravel, so probably not the wisest choice I ever made!"

Russell hopeful of no damage to car

Russell felt optimistic that the spin would not result in any damage to his W13. "There should be no damage," he commented. "I'm always a bit tentative when it's been lifted onto the tow truck and there's a lot of gravel, so the guys are going to have to take the car to pieces just to make sure we've got all the gravel out, but it should be okay." Despite the incident, Russell remains hopeful for what he can achieve from third on the grid in Saturday's Sprint, and also shared some words of praise for pole-sitter Magnussen. "Massive congrats to Kevin and Haas – this is what Formula 1 and sport is about, to have some crazy results like this," the Silver Arrows driver said. "But for us, P3 [is a] good place to start for the Sprint."

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