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George Russell

Russell: 'Red Bull penalty makes up for all my bad luck'

The Mercedes driver believes that he was due some luck after Mercedes came out on top in the Constructors' battle with Ferrari for second place.

Russell Abu Dhabi podium 5
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell believes that "lady luck" enabled him to secure second in the Formula 1 Constructors' Championship for Mercedes.

The Briton was in a battle with Sergio Perez in the closing stages, after the Red Bull driver was handed a five-second time penalty for a collision with Lando Norris.

This produced a dramatic end between Russell, Perez and Charles Leclerc, who employed gamesmanship tactics in an attempt to swing the points in favour of Ferrari.

The Ferrari driver slowed down on the final lap to let Perez through to create a gap to Russell, but the Mexican fell short by 1.1 seconds at the flag.

Russell believes the incident was a lucky break for Mercedes, given his own spate of poor luck at times throughout the season.

"Yeah, it was a great weekend. I'm really pleased to finish on this high because it's been a really challenging season," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.

"One, as a team, but on a personal side, just not getting the results that we probably deserve. The pace has been really strong on so many occasions, but just results kept on slipping through our fingers.

"So, you know, lady luck maybe on our side slightly today with Checo’s penalty but I think that more than made up for the other races this year."

Russell illness causing 'coughing every lap'

Russell could be heard coughing during the post-race press conference and over team radio during the race.

The Briton admitted that he has not been fully fit, owing to the intense travel scheduling that drivers and teams have had to put up with in between Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.

"I’ve been really ill the last two weeks. Firstly, in Vegas with a big fever, I couldn't sleep and just felt awful," said Russell.

"Then I've had a horrendous cough that stayed with me all week and in the car. I was coughing every single lap but when you're strapped into the car, you can't breathe.

"You can't take a deep breath in to get the cough out. So, it was just constantly with me. It was pretty, pretty miserable. So, I was pleased to bring it home when I saw that chequered flag."

F1 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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