George Russell says he’ll discuss getting held up by Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes

George Russell finished eighth in Japan last weekend.

Mercedes’ George Russell was far from impressed after the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.

The Briton qualified eighth behind Fernando Alonso, while the other Mercedes of Sir Lewis Hamilton ended up in sixth behind Esteban Ocon.

The race got underway in wet conditions, and both Mercedes drivers held position off the start of the race, with Alonso trying a daring move on Hamilton into Turn 10, only for the 37-year-old to cut back underneath and regain the position.

The red flag emerged shortly after when Carlos Sainz span into the wall, and Russell, who serves as a Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) director, was said to be livid after seeing a crane deployed onto the circuit.

READ: George Russell scolded for Pierre Gasly incident

The drivers had not yet made it back to the pits, or even past the accident on lap two, when the recovery vehicle was sent out onto the racetrack, and Pierre Gasly was almost hit by it.

After what happened at the same race in the same conditions to Jules Bianchi in 2014, the drivers were said to be “angry” that the FIA had endangered their lives, and Russell was reportedly on the phone to the president, Mohammed ben Sulayem.

After lengthy delays, the race got back underway on a rolling start, with all of the drivers mandated to be on full Wets.

However, Sebastian Vettel and Nicholas Latifi quicky realised that the track was drying significantly, and when they started gaining time, everyone else followed suit.

Article continues below

Russell was brought in right behind Hamilton, so he was delayed, and that allowed Vettel to successfully undercut the 24-year-old, as well as a handful of others.

He made his way back up the order, and eventually finished where he started after being passed on the final lap by Alonso, who made his way back up to seventh having pitted late on.

On a day that the King’s Lynn-born driver reckons he might have been able to fight for the top five, walking away with four points was a disappointing result.

“We need to review what went on, I was right behind Lewis and double stacking, I was just going to lose all the positions,” explained Russell.

“Not really much more to say, very frustrating afternoon – probably could have fought for P5.

READ: ‘The worst decision’: George Russell slams Mercedes in Japan

“It was quite enjoyable out there, made some good overtakes but we need to sit down with the team and see what we could have done better. That was probably at the time not the right thing to do.” 

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, was working from base in Brackley last weekend, leaving trackside engineer, Andrew Shovlin, as one of the more experienced authority figures in the team in Japan.

The Briton conceded that Mercedes might have “waited a lap” to bring Russell in, which could have mitigated his time loss.