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George Russell

Russell worried about car damage after qualifying shunt

Like Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, George Russell suffered a crash that put him out of Q3 in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Russell crash Austria
Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

George Russell was unsure about the extent of the damage sustained to his Mercedes after crashing out of qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

A matter of minutes after teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed out in Q3 of qualifying, Russell also spun off at high speed.

The Briton spun backwards into the barrier at the final corner and retired from the session, raising concerns about potential gearbox damage.

His opening lap of Q3 was good enough to still finish qualifying in fifth place, whilst Hamilton's earlier error means he provisionally starts the race from 10th.

Speaking after qualifying, the Mercedes driver believed a top four qualifying result was achievable.

"I wouldn't say lucky escape, we need to review the crash damage. There's nothing lucky or fortunate about making a mistake like that," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We could have been P4. I was a tenth up on my lap and absolutely went for it. I thought there was an opportunity for third but, as it turned out, probably not.

"But we just need to see how much damage is done."

Russell: Floor regulation changes have probably helped us

Mercedes regularly appeared to be in the mix for pole position in the earlier stages of qualifying.

Whilst it will remain unclear if they would have had the one-lap pace to challenge in Q3, the reigning World Champions have frequently performed better in the races compared to qualifying.

Russell continued to say that whilst Mercedes had their "best qualifying pace" of the year, he believed their competitiveness may have been aided by the FIA's earlier decision to change the test criteria for the planks underneath the cars.

"It's definitely positive signs. We brought some things to the car, we know that Ferrari and Red Bull were probably pushing the boundaries with the planks a bit more than the interpretation of the regulation and probably all of these things coming together was coming in our favour," added Russell.

"We're not getting carried away. Lewis was doing a phenomenal job. He was absolutely flying today.

"I probably went in the wrong direction with the set-up for qualifying, but maybe [will be] in a good place for the race.

"We ordinarily have better race pace than we do qualy pace, and we're definitely there in the fight.

"As a team, it's probably our best qualifying of the year in terms of pace, but probably the worst in terms of outcome."

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F1 2022 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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