‘George Russell involuntarily exposed himself’ with Lewis Hamilton request

George Russell was one of several drivers to make use of the run-off area at Mirabeau in the closing stages of the Monaco GP.

George Russell endured an eventful afternoon at the Monaco Grand Prix, with the Mercedes driver having been awarded with a five-second time penalty in the closing stages of the sixth race of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

After qualifying eighth, Russell opted to run deep into the race on his opening set of tyres, with the Briton having miraculously found himself in third as the afternoon reached a decisive point.

Whilst virtually every driver behind him had pitted, Russell had yet to make his first pit-stop as the heavens dramatically opened, something which saw every driver return to the pits for Intermediates.

By not pitting for a second set of slick tyres, Russell jumped both Alpine drivers, both Ferrari drivers and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, putting him in with a great shout of a podium.

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When he made his stop for a set of Intermediates, Russell re-joined the circuit still in third, before running into the run-off area at Mirabeau.

The error saw Esteban Ocon and Hamilton overtake the 25-year-old, whilst he then went on to collide with Sergio Perez as he attempted to re-join the circuit.

Seemingly unaware of where Perez was, Russell cut across the front of the Red Bull driver as he re-joined the circuit, resulting in a heavy collision between the pair.

They both miraculously escaped without damage; however, Russell was awarded a five-second time penalty as a result.

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In an attempt to build a big enough gap over sixth-placed Charles Leclerc, Russell asked Mercedes if he could overtake Hamilton and attempt to pass Ocon, in a bid to not finish outside the top five.

Mercedes denied the request given that Russell had the pace to build a big enough gap to Leclerc, something he comfortably did.

Russell ultimately finished fifth; however, fans were quick to criticise the Briton for asking to overtake Hamilton in an attempt to help himself.

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“George Russell involuntarily exposed himself asking for team orders when it only benefits him and clearly showing he doesn’t car about the team,” wrote @tsimiks on Twitter.

@mmlets commented: “He doesn’t fit the Mercedes philosophy.”

Russell was also called a “desperate man” by @carolaucock.