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George Russell

Russell refuses to 'sulk' after Hamilton Imola defeat

George Russell was the better of the two Mercedes drivers throughout the Imola weekend, but finished behind Lewis Hamilton after a second pit-stop.

Russell Imola Race
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell says he will not "sulk" after losing out on sixth place to Lewis Hamilton in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after a second pit-stop. 

Having been ahead of Hamilton in qualifying and throughout the race, Russell pitted for a second time on Lap 52 at Imola for what the team described as safety concerns. 

This left him over 20 seconds behind Hamilton with 11 laps remaining, and although he whittled that gap down to 12.050s by the flag, but finished behind his team-mate for the second straight race, although he did bank a seventh career-fastest lap and first since the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Reflecting on the decision, Russell tried to play down finishing behind Hamilton.

"As a driver, you want to finish in the highest possible position, and all weekend I have been ahead of my team-mate," Russell told media including RacingNews365.

"I was ahead for the whole race comfortably, and [the pitstop] was sort of losing the position for the sake of it. 

"We got the extra point, and I am not going to sulk about this, it was for P6, it wasn't for a podium or victory."

Russell also added to Sky Sports F1 that sixth and seventh "is where we are right now, a little bit of no-mans land behind the Ferraris and McLaren and ahead of the midfield."

Compromised race for Russell

Russell initially pitted on Lap 21 for a change to the Hard tyres to try and undercut Sainz but felt stopping so early to trade the medium "compromised" his race.

"I think we were just trying to put pressure on Sainz and ultimately, I think we pitted a bit too early, and compromised the race slightly on my side of the garage," he said.

"But as a team, we came away with the extra point for fastest lap."


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