Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
George Russell, Mercedes-AMG
Autosport Plus
Formula 1 Singapore GP
Opinion

The lessons Russell can take from his "two-centimetre" Singapore F1 mistake

George Russell cut a dejected figure slouching back into the Singapore Grand Prix paddock after the ignominy of his last-lap crash. He had given his all for glory but it bit him back, a situation both he and Mercedes will want to learn from for future Formula 1 battles

“In the moment, you just want to curl up in a ball and be with nobody."

So said George Russell moments after his race-ending trip to the wall at the Singapore Grand Prix, when a first Formula 1 victory of the season had been tantalisingly close to his grasp in the dying stages of a breathless encounter. The Mercedes driver had been unwavering in his pursuit of eventual race winner Carlos Sainz and ratcheted up the pressure following the safety car period at the end of the race's opening third. It was, per Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, a "99.9% fantastic weekend" - but that final 0.01% tainted his otherwise stellar performance at the end.

With a front-row start, Russell knew he was on for a potential victory in Singapore. It didn't matter that Sainz had got pole, and nor did it matter if he wasn't able to mount an assault for the lead on the first lap, as Mercedes had an ace up its sleeve that it was particularly keen to play. Mercedes spent much of FP1 and FP3 running around on the hard tyres, ensuring it could save a set of mediums for Sunday's 62-lap encounter. It wasn't a particularly well-kept secret; the audience saw Mercedes' strategists slide that ace under their cufflinks, and Russell bullishly drew attention to it after qualifying. Mind games? Misdirection? Or just naïveté?

Previous article Aston Martin has no problems with Alonso criticism after poor F1 Singapore GP
Next article De Vries poised for 2024 Toyota WEC seat after AlphaTauri F1 exit

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe