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George Russell

Russell highlights Alonso tactic in late Piastri battle

The move has earned George Russell a visit to the stewards.

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George Russell says he expected "nothing less" from Fernando Alonso at his late-race Japanese Grand Prix tactics as he hunted Oscar Piastri.

In the closing stages at Suzuka, Russell was closing in on seventh-placed Piastri as Alonso dropped back to give the Australian the DRS in a bid to keep the Mercedes of Russell behind in eighth place.

On Lap 50, Russell lunged up the inside of the final chicane, forcing Piastri wide and eventually swooped past into Turn 1 to take seventh himself, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton only ninth.

The stewards have summoned both Russell and Piastri over their second incident of the weekend, with Mercedes already fined €5,000 for an unsafe release in qualifying.

Reflecting on the incident, Russell was sure both could have made the chicane.

"It was a late move from my side, down the inside and made contact, but I think there was room for both of us to stay on track," Russell told Sky Sports F1.

"I think I would have been a little more upset had I finished the race behind him, and in the end, nothing lost, nothing gained from either."

As Russell closed on Piastri, the Australian was being given DRS assistance by the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso to prevent Russell from passing the McLaren.

Having fallen victim to Alonso's race-craft in Melbourne, Russell was not surprised at the tactic.

"Fernando playing games, that's new!" he said.

"It was smart from Fernando and I expected nothing less, it is just a part of racing."

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