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George Russell

Russell: 'Respect to Leclerc' for 'keeping it clean' in last-ditch gamble

The Mercedes driver was happy to end the season on a high, after admitting that he made a few mistakes which cost them valuable points in 2023.

Russell Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has praised Charles Leclerc "for keeping it clean" during the Ferrari's last-ditch gamble to rescue second in the Constructors' in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

After finishing third in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix along with Lewis Hamilton's ninth place, it means that Mercedes is ahead of Ferrari in the championship battle, despite Leclerc letting Sergio Perez past in the final laps to try and back Russell up given the Red Bull's time penalty.

Russell was happy to end the season on a high, after conceding that he made a few mistakes throughout the year which cost them important points to its rivals.

"That will mean a huge amount to so many people back at the factory and Brackley and Brixworth, who have worked so hard to achieve after a really challenging season," said Russell.

"I've let the side down a couple of times this year, so pleased to bring it across the line."

Russell: Checo came out of nowhere

Perez already had a five-second time penalty after earlier contact with Lando Norris, and had to increase the gap to Russell to deny him of the podium and the Constructors' position.

Russell kept the gap to within a second of Perez's penalty time, with the Red Bull driver dropping to fourth at the finish line.

"It was tight with Checo at the end, I thought Charles is going to back me up but respect to him for keeping it clean," explained Russell.

"I came out of the pits on a second set of Hard tyres, but then Checo just came out of nowhere and had great pace.

"It was really tense at the end as the tyres were dropping off, but just really pleased to have secured P2 for the team."

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F1 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier