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George Russell

Russell fears dismissed over 'basic' Las Vegas circuit

The Mercedes driver was surprised by the amount of overtakes produced by the Las Vegas Street Circuit as he finished fourth on the road but was demoted to eighth at the flag by a five-second time penalty.

George Russell has explained how the "basic" Las Vegas Strip Circuit actually provided an unexpected challenge during the Grand Prix.

Weaving around Vegas, the 17 turn 3.8-mile track is the second longest on the calendar, behind Spa-Francorchamps, and featured a 1.2-mile blast down the Strip.

The track was characterised by some as a potentially dull circuit for racing, but the Grand Prix produced 82 on-track moves - the second most of the season behind the Dutch GP - , including five for the lead.

The prime overtaking spot was into Turn 14 at the end of the Strip and DRS zone, with Russell originally fearing that the slipstream effect would be nulled due to the low-downforce set-ups.

"It's been quite surreal being here and seeing everything that's going on," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.

"The track was actually a lot better to drive than I anticipated.

"It looks pretty basic from the track map, but it's actually got quite a lot of character and is a really challenging circuit to drive.

"That was the nature of a low-downforce circuit, the slipstream really isn't that substantial.

"I don't know how many overtakes were in the race, but it wasn't straightforward to pass."

The Mercedes driver missed out on a potential podium after making contact with Max Verstappen 25 laps into the race at Turn 12, with stewards handing him a five-second time penalty for the contact.

After the race, Russell conceded the collision was "totally my fault" with race-winner Verstappen, while the Briton managed to climb to fourth by the flag on the road.

However, this late surge to fourth turned into eighth once the penalty was applied, promoting Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz and team-mate Lewis Hamilton all up one spot.

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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