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George Russell

Russell puzzled by "strange" Monaco GP decision

George Russell started and finished fifth in Monaco - but had dreams of a podium early on.

Russell race Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell does not believe it was correct Carlos Sainz was able to regain his third place at the start of the Monaco Grand Prix. 

At Turn 1, Sainz made contact with Oscar Piastri's McLaren, with the Ferrari sustaining a front-left puncture as he peeled off at Casino Square, unable to take the corner.

He got going again, but the race was red-flagged for the serious accident involving Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen. 

During the delay, the FIA confirmed that for the standing restart, the Ferrari driver would be re-taking third on the grid - which is where he finished as team-mate Charles Leclerc won from Piastri.

This is a decision Russell labelled as "strange"

"I would say no, it's not correct," Russell explained when asked by RacingNews365 for his thoughts of Sainz regaining his position.

"I don't know what the ruling is, but that was a bit strange.

"Especially when Carlos had that puncture, I thought we had, at minimum, a chance to fight for the podium and maybe even more. 

"I definitely felt like I had [Verstappen] covered and thought I was in for a good shot today when I saw everyone starting on mediums in front of me."

Russell's radical shake-up

For the first time in the history of the world championship, the top 10 from qualifying finished in those positions in the race, as fears of a procession were confirmed. 

The one-time grand prix winner feels a Pirelli change could work - especially as fresher tyres proved strong late in the race for Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. 

"It is great to be racing in Monaco, but we need to change something to make it more interesting on a Sunday - if we only brought the soft tyres, one that wouldn't last the whole race, and you need to do two stops, somebody might try a one-stop," he said.

"I think just having the whole weekend on softs would solve a lot of problems. 

"It was definitely the right call, we all know how difficult it is to pass here and there is nothing to gain by going faster.

"But actually when I looked at the pace at the end, the gap was up to 30 seconds behind Charles at one point, and then we brought it down to 12 seconds and only four seconds behind the McLaren, so there are a lot of positives to take away."


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