George Russell criticises himself

Mercedes driver George Russell will be starting from 11th on the grid for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, following his elimination from Q2.

George Russell acknowledged that he didn’t do well enough in Friday’s qualifier in Austria, which left him in a poor starting position for Sunday’s main race.

His teammate Lewis Hamilton progressed to Q3, taking fifth spot on the grid while Max Verstappen clinched first position once again.

Verstappen faced a scare from Charle Leclerc, who made a late charge and fell short of the Dutchman by only 0.048s.

Russell was hindered after having his best time deleted for exceeding track limits: however, even his best time wouldn’t have improved his starting position.

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The British driver admitted he wasn’t good enough from the get-go, saying: “Just not quick enough today.

“I think from the first laps in practice, just hadn’t got the right feel with the car. It’s difficult when you go into a sprint race weekend, you don’t have a lot of time to make some changes.”

“Obviously, P11 is not the best position, but we’ve had some good results from further down the field so far this year so all is not lost.”

Those eliminated from Q1 of the hour-long qualifier were: Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Logan Sargeant (Williams), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), and Nyck de Vries (AlphaTauri).

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Russell was joined in elimination from Q2 by Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Oscar Piastri (McLaren), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), and Sergio Perez (Red Bull).

Perez failed to make it through to Q3 for a fourth consecutive race, getting all of his hot laps in Q2 deleted for track limits violations to land 15th on the grid.

In other news from Friday, Alpine junior Victor Martins was untouchable in the Spielberg F2 qualifier, securing pole position.

He fended off Prema Racing’s Frederik Vesti and his ART teammate Theo Pourchaire to claim the top spot.

READ: Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc investigated by the stewards

Martins set the pace throughout the race, recording an early benchmark of 1’14.926. 

He proceeded to shave three-tenths of a second off that time in the final minutes and secure his second pole position of the season.

Championship leader Vesti will start Sunday’s feature race on the front row, having come in second – with Vesti’s ART teammate Theo Pourchaire coming in third.