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George Russell

Russell rues 'small things' after matching Alonso feat

George Russell was involved in two of the standout moments of the race but had to settle for finishing where he started.

Russell FP2 Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell was left to rue "a few small things" after emulating a feat previously achieved by Fernando Alonso at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix.

From fourth on the grid, Russell pulled off a stunning move through Turn 1 after picking up a tow from first Max Verstappen and then Lando Norris on the long run down.

The Mercedes driver led for the opening two laps before being passed by Verstappen at the start of the third. But the strategy that followed did not play into the Briton's hands as he switched from soft to the medium tyres after just 15 laps. Due to an issue with the right-rear wheel, that stop cost him over three seconds.

Russell then ran for the last 30 laps on the hards when most of his rivals again took on softs. He finished where he started, although one more lap and he would almost certainly have lost out to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Russell, however, was involved in the moment of the race when he duelled with Norris on lap 35, with the duo trading position on three occasions as they went wheel to wheel through Turns 3-7, but again that proved costly.

"A few small things went against us," said Russell, speaking to media, including RacingNews365 after the race.

"The slow pit stop put us on the back foot in the middle stint and under a bit of pressure, and then I lost a lot of time in the fight with Lando, and getting onto the hard tyre, that was pretty rubbish.

"But we protected the P3 and P4 as a team, and that's what we were kind of aiming for."

The start, though, was a moment to savour for Russell. "I was kind of dreaming of it last night and what my plan of attack would be," he said.

"I saw the weather forecast and that the wind had shifted to a headwind into Turn 1, which I knew meant I could brake really late and deep into the corner.

"When I was racing karts I always remember watching Fernando in 2012 starting P4 and getting into the lead, so I always knew it was possible."

Russell has conceded to the fact that the risk he took in making that move was "calculated".

He added: "I did four laps to the grid and I practiced braking as late as possible on every single lap so I knew where the limit was, I knew how strong the wind was, and I knew what was possible with the car."

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