George Russell was left seemingly unhappy to have drawn 11-11 with Lewis Hamilton in their qualifying head-to-head in 2023, after being informed of the score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Russell managed to qualify fourth at the season finale following a good session, whilst Hamilton could only salvage 11th after being eliminated in Q2.
It marked the second consecutive Grand Prix where Hamilton had failed to progress to Q3, something which hadn’t happened previously since 2014.
By out-qualifying the seven-time World Champion at the Yas Marina Circuit, Russell ensured that he wasn’t defeated across the season by his teammate when it comes to qualifying.
This is better than he managed in 2022, where Hamilton beat Russell 13-9.
Russell was told after the final qualifying of the season that he should be proud of having matched Hamilton – who has 104 pole positions to his name – given how tough it is to beat the 38-year-old over one-lap.
However, Russell didn’t seem to agree with this.
“I don’t really know to be honest,” Russell replied to Channel 4’s Steve Jones.
Jones insisted that Russell should be “chuffed” with his performance, to which the 25-year-old noted that a “draw” isn’t typically celebrated.
“Nobody celebrates a draw, do they?” Russell responded.
2023 just hasn’t been the year Russell was hoping for after performing so well in 2022.
Last year, Russell became just the third teammate of Hamilton’s to finish above him in the Drivers’ Championship, a feat he came nowhere near to replicating this year.
Hamilton ended the 2023 season in P3 and 59 points ahead of Russell, who ended the campaign down in a very disappointing ninth.
The King’s Lynn-born drive struggled with consistency throughout the recently completed season, resulting in him finishing behind Hamilton 15 times.
Russell admits that 2023 was “strange” as the W14 was “so challenging to drive”, with him explaining how himself and Hamilton were never able to lap at the same pace.
“It’s been a strange season,” Russell admitted. “I felt very good on the Saturday afternoons and sort of found a bit more of my mojo when I struggled a little bit at times in the season.
“But this car is just so challenging to drive and you said we’re 11-all, but we’re never the same pace. Either I’m four or five-tenths ahead, or he’s four or five-tenths ahead of me and that just goes to show how difficult the car is, how difficult the tyres are.”