George Russell admits he’s shocked by ‘violent response’

George Russell's DNF at the Canadian Grand Prix marked his second retirement of 2023.

George Russell endured a Canadian Grand Prix to forget on Sunday, as the Mercedes driver retired from the race following damage sustained from a crash earlier in the race.

Ahead of the race at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve, Russell was certain that a podium was possible, something which would’ve marked back-to-back rostrums.

He made a good start from fourth and settled into the race behind Fernando Alonso, who was overtaken on the approach to the opening corner by team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Russell was instructed by the team to keep as close to the Aston Martin driver as possible, something which looked visibly challenging.

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Perhaps as a result of pushing so hard to keep within a second of the two-time World Champion, Russell went wide on Lap 13 at Turn 8, which launched him over the sausage kerb at Turn 9.

When his W14 landed, he lost the rear and heavily struck the wall, resulting in substantial damage.

Remarkably, Mercedes were able to get Russell back out on track; albeit, in last.

He did manage to work his way into the top 10 but was forced to retire from the race late on, following damage from his collision with the wall.

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The Mercedes driver explained exactly how the crash happened after the race, where he admitted that it was a “difficult pill to swallow”.

“I just went a bit wide into Turn 8. I knew I was going to hit the kerb, but I wasn’t expecting the sausage kerb to have such a violent response,” Russell said following his retirement.

“Next thing, I’m in the air. When I landed, I lost the rear and I was in the wall. It all happened really quite suddenly.

“I did [assume it was over], to be honest. I was surprised that we managed to continue. I was very close to pulling up… it’s a difficult pill to swallow. But that’s how the sport should be. One small mistake and you should be punished for it.”

Interestingly, Russell was forced to retire from the race late on not due to physical damage to the car; instead, it was due to his W14’s “oxidation matrix”.

Team boss Toto Wolff revealed that Russell’s hit with the wall resulted in it going “dramatically up” just on the left side of his car, with the team having not wanted to risk it any more in the closing stages.

“The oxidation matrices were high on both cars,” Wolff said, as reported by

“But after he hit the wall, interestingly the oxidation matrix went dramatically up on the left and at that stage, we felt we wouldn’t finish the race so we retired the car.”

Russell was very suddenly told to retire, with something having clearly been wrong with his car.

READ: FIA urged to punish George Russell for Lewis Hamilton incident

He always ran on the dirty side of the track to keep in the clean air; however, there was ultimately “no recovering” once the oxidation matrix went over a certain level.

“It was all quite sudden when it was too late,” Russell explained. “I think the thing with brakes, once you go over a certain oscillation threshold, there’s no recovering.

“It doesn’t matter how much you nurse them. They’re just on a rate you can’t recover.”