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George Russell

Russell heart not 'sunk' despite early sprint qualifying exit

George Russell was eliminated in the second part of Friday's Chinese Grand Prix sprint qualifying session.

Russell sprint China
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To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell conceded after sprint qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix that he was "frustrated" to be eliminated in SQ2, with the Briton starting from P11 on Saturday.

The Shanghai International Circuit hosted perhaps the best session of 2024 so far, as rain, wind and fire all played a part during the first sprint qualifying of the season.

Russell only just navigated his way out of SQ1 but could not avoid the drop in SQ2, with his best lap being impacted by a loss of tyre temperature whilst waiting in a queue prior to exiting the pit-lane.

"Yeah, it wasn't easy at all," said Russell. "It was basically one lap in SQ2. We tried sending it as early as we could, and then obviously got stuck behind I think 12 cars who were ahead of us just sat in the pit-lane.

"So yeah, lost the tyre temperature and then it was close, one more tenth in your four or five positions higher.

"And, obviously, it's just a shame to be on the bottom end of that. But it's only sprint qualifying and I've got a chance to recover in the sprint race."

Saturday 'another chance'

SQ1 was completed in dry conditions before spots of rain appeared in SQ2, whilst SQ3 was completely wet.

Russell proved at the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix that he is a demon in wet conditions; however, he failed to demonstrate his talent in the wet as a result of being eliminated.

Despite the disappointment of being eliminated in SQ2, the Mercedes driver knows Saturday is a day full of opportunities.

"Well, I wouldn't say it's sunk," conceded Russell, when asked if his heart sunk after missing SQ3. "Just a little bit frustrated after the first lap. It was so close to getting into SQ3.

"Just challenging conditions, obviously, the rain falling down. Who knows what could have happened in SQ3.

"But as I said, You've got the sprint race tomorrow to recover some positions, and then got another chance for qualifying tomorrow afternoon."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying