George Russell’s Canadian Grand Prix ended in disappointing circumstances, as the Briton was forced to retire in the closing stages due to an earlier collision with a wall.
The Mercedes driver started the race from fourth despite having qualified fifth, following a three-place grid penalty for Nico Hulkenberg who was supposed to unbelievably start from the front row.
Russell made a good start from the second row and settled into the race in fourth, behind Fernando Alonso who was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton off the line.
It was clear that Hamilton and Alonso both had better pace than Russell, as he was visibly pushing his W14 to its limit.
Mercedes informed the 25-year-old to stick with Alonso, something he tried to do.
Perhaps as a result of pushing so hard, Russell went wide at Turn 8 on Lap 13, before being launched over the sausage kerb on the inside of Turn 9.
When his car landed, Russell lost the rear which heavily slapped against the wall, before his front wing also made contact with the concrete barrier.
It caused significant damage to his car; however, he was miraculously able to continue following a pit-stop.
He tumbled to last as a result but did well to get back into the top 10, before he was asked to retire the car in the race’s closing stages.
The result marked Russell’s second retirement of the season which left him feeling “disappointed”, given that his “small mistake” resulted in “massive consequences”.
Russell admitted after the race that he was trying to put Alonso “under pressure”, prior to his heavy hit with the wall.
“Apologies to the team. We’ve put so much hard work and effort into this weekend and a small mistake has had massive consequences,” Russell said following his retirement.
“I was doing everything I could to put Fernando [Alonso] under pressure. I then ran a little bit wide and hit the kerb; next thing I knew I was in the wall. That’s at least 12 points that we’ve left on the table today.
“We did a good job after that to get back into the mix. Sadly we had an issue with the brakes which forced us to retire the car. They felt okay from my side, but the team can see the data and could see that we couldn’t continue.
“I’m disappointed with the race today but there are positives we can take away. The car was quick on a circuit that we weren’t expecting to be that competitive and we took the fight to those around us.
“The team is doing a great job and the future is exciting. Let’s see what the upcoming races bring.”