George Russell secured Mercedes second in the Constructors’ Championship on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after surviving a late scare at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Mercedes entered the finale just four points ahead of Ferrari; however, the Italians had Charles Leclerc starting from the front row of the grid.
Russell started in fourth, whilst Lewis Hamilton was down in 11th with Carlos Sainz even further behind in 16th.
Leclerc actually contested for the race lead in the opening laps before he settled into second place, whilst Russell progressed into third.
Russell was clearly doing maths during the race, as he was eager to know how Hamilton was doing at one stage of the race.
He was furious at the blank response he received though, as his race engineer failed to tell him exactly where the seven-time World Champion was.
“How is Lewis getting on?” Russell asked his race engineer.
“Yeah, he’s doing a good job at the moment. He’s in a fight of his own.” Russell’s engineer replied.
“What the f**k does that mean?” Russell asked, before saying: “How are we doing in the championship? Are we good?”
Russell’s engineer said in response: “All we can do is the best race that we can do. We’re fine at the moment.”
The fight for second in the standings went down to the absolute wire, as Sergio Perez overtook Russell in the closing laps.
This would’ve been enough for Ferrari to claim second; however, Perez had a five-second time penalty which demoted him back behind Russell after the race.
With Sainz having failed to score a point and with Hamilton finishing ninth, Mercedes secured second place by just three points.
The Silver Arrows will be very thankful that Russell boasted good pace in Abu Dhabi, as Hamilton really struggled to make progress.
Russell’s rostrum was remarkably just the second of his campaign, marking a positive way for him to end what’s been a disappointing season.
Whilst Hamilton ended the season third in the Drivers’ Championship, Russell finished all the way down in P8, leaving him with significant room for improvement in 2024.