George Russell and Charles Leclerc clash sparks war of words

Mercedes driver George Russell made up just one position during the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

George Russell was quick to criticise Charles Leclerc’s “questionable defending” after the British Grand Prix last weekend, following an incident in the opening phase of the race.

Russell found himself in fifth behind Leclerc early on, before the Mercedes driver tried to overtake the Monegasque at Club Corner.

However, as the British driver went to dive down Leclerc’s inside, the Ferrari star suddenly changed direction.

Russell was therefore stuck behind Leclerc, something which meant he couldn’t capitalise on his Soft tyres in clean air.

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The King’s Lynn-born driver miraculously made a set of Soft tyres last 28 laps, something nobody thought was possible.

Had it not been for Leclerc, Russell is convinced he could’ve gone even deeper into the race on the Soft compound.

“I felt good on those tyres, and that was 28 laps within one second of a car ahead,” Russell said, as reported by

“I think I could have extended even further had it been clear air. I felt really good on that on that tyre, it felt really good on our car.”

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Whilst Russell was clearly far from pleased with Leclerc’s defending, the Brit doesn’t think getting past the Ferrari driver would’ve “changed my race”.

Russell thinks he would’ve still finished fifth regardless, behind both McLaren drivers and his team-mate.

“I did my best to overtake Charles, some questionable defending at points. But it wouldn’t have changed my race,” Russell admitted.

“Had I got past him, it probably would have meant I would have boxed even earlier.

“Probably both the McLarens would have pitted to cover me. So I still probably would have finished fifth.”

Russell was asked specifically about what Leclerc did which made him unhappy at Turn 16, to which the Mercedes driver admitted the Ferrari driver “came across pretty aggressively”.

Interestingly, the incident wasn’t looked into by the stewards, despite Russell noting that Leclerc’s manoeuvre was “clearly not allowed”.

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“It was just about braking into Turn 16,” he said.

“I was about to lunge him down inside and right at the braking zone he came across pretty aggressively.

“That’s clearly not allowed in the rules. I think they gave him a slap on the wrist. But you know when you got one overtaking opportunity and [he gets] sort of a warning for it, it’s a bit frustrating.”