George Russell mocked after being caught spying

George Russell’s weekend in Australia quickly went from glory to despair, as he was forced to retire when his car caught fire.

The Australian Grand Prix started with success for Mercedes, as George Russell shot past Max Verstappen on the opening lap to claim P1.

Russell was quickly joined by his teammate Lewis Hamilton at the front of the grid, as the Mercedes duo secured a Silver Arrows P1 and P2 by the end of lap one.

However, when the Williams of Alex Albon crashed into the wall, spraying gravel across the track, a safety car was deployed.

Russell took the chance to dive into the pitlane for an early change under safety car rules but his tactic turned sour when the red flag was waved, leaving him down in P7 for the restart.

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With Hamilton still up front on the restart, Russell was determined to push through the field to rejoin his Mercedes teammate.

Russell’s hopes of a podium finish were dashed though when his car caught fire after passing the pitlane, forcing him to pull to the side and retire from the race.

While Hamilton continued to fight to the finish, ultimately finishing the race in P2 and securing the first Mercedes podium of the season, Russell used his time on track for a different purpose.

Spotting him on the grid in a tracksuit and sunglasses, Formula 1 fans joked that Russell had been dispatched by the team to spy on his rivals, finding out what secrets Red Bull has deployed to outpace the rest of the grid.

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“He needs a newspaper with a couple of eye holes cut out,” one user wrote.

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“We have a replacement for inspector Seb!!! Lol,” another said, referencing former Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel’s habit of examining other cars in the pitlane.

“When you start considering driving for an energy drink,” a fan suggested, hinting at Russell looking for a move to the team at the top of the title standings. 

Whatever Russell’s aim, his efforts were dashed when Red Bull reserve driver emerged for a conversation, as the pair spent the race on the pit wall.