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George Russell

Russell reveals moment that 'sapped' his confidence ahead of qualifying

The Mercedes driver pin points why he was six tenths off the pace from pole sitter Carlos Sainz.

Russell US
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

George Russell says a moment during United States Grand Prix practice is what "sapped" his confidence heading into qualifying, after only going sixth fastest at the end of the session.

With the grid penalties for Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez it means that he starts from fourth, but the Mercedes driver still thinks that being six tenths off Carlos Sainz's best time "is not something to be celebrating."

"I had big sideways moment and almost crashed in practice and that sort of sapped a lot of my confidence across all the practice sessions," Russell explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"Fortunately from lap one in Q1 [I was] sort of back to normal ways.

"Six tenths off pole is not something to be celebrating, but if you take the season as an average and you look at sort of the length of this lap it's probably better than than the majority of our qualifying sessions [this season]."

Russell: W13 "bit of a diva" at best of times

Russell was visibly struggling in the W13 as the circuit was dealt with high winds up to 60kph gusts at some points.

The Mercedes driver to abort laps following big snaps of oversteering coming out of the first corner which, coupled with the cars usual characteristics, is what caused the setback in confidence.

"This year it's not rare, to be honest. Especially with the porpoising and the stiffness of these cars. It's a bit of a diva at the best of times," explained Russell.

"You kind of always want to have a clean weekend, you never want to put the car on the wall or anything. And if you ever have a big moment which takes that confidence away, it does take a little while to get back to it.

The Circuit of the Americas was resurfaced earlier this year before the MotoGP round and its something a few drivers have picked up on, with Russell saying it is a big improvement given the 2022 cars are lower compared to last year.

"I think naturally these cars are a lot worse than last year [with bumps]. It feels kind of the same, so if you take into consideration how much worse these cars are, the track surely is a big improvement."

F1 2022 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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