Martin Brundle delivers brutally honest George Russell verdict

George Russell was on-track for his first podium of the season prior to his lock-up on Lap 55 in Monaco.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle jumped to George Russell’s defence after the Monaco Grand Prix, with the Mercedes driver having faced criticism for rejoining the circuit unsafely in the closing stages of the race.

As a result of having not made his mandatory pit-stop, Russell was able to switch straight from his starting tyres to a set of Intermediates at the Circuit de Monaco, when a sudden downpour soaked the track in the closing laps.

With the majority of drivers around him having pitted prior to the rain for a new set of slick tyres, Russell was effectively handed a free pit-stop, given that everybody had to pit for Intermediates.

The free pit-stop allowed Russell to jump from eighth to third, putting him within touching distance of an unexpected podium.

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On his out-lap after pitting for Intermediates though, the 25-year-old locked-up at Mirabeau and drove straight into the escape road.

Whilst trying to reverse back onto the circuit, Russell tumbled from third to fifth, behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

When he was eventually able to get going again, the former Williams driver drove straight across Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, resulting in a sizeable collision.

Both drivers somehow escaped without damage; however, Russell was awarded with a five-second time penalty for rejoining the circuit in an unsafe manner.

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Despite the penalty, he still held on to finish fifth, with him having then faced criticism after the race for the way he rejoined the track.

Brundle has since defended the Briton though, and revealed that due to how little a driver can move their head in the cockpit, there was actually “nothing” Russell could’ve done to have avoided the incident.

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“Having fitted intermediate tyres on the optimum lap 53 Russell could have stolen third place from Ocon if he didn’t have a lock-up down into the Mirabeau escape road,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“He would then take a five-second penalty for dangerously rejoining the track and taking a sizable hit from the lapped Perez, but actually, there’s nothing else a driver can do other than join, accelerate and hope, unless you want to patiently sit there to see if a marshal will wave you back into a space.

“The drivers can’t see out of the side of the raised cockpits and with the HANS safety device connected to the crash helmet and very limited space they can’t turn their heads anyway. And mirrors are no good if your car is not on the racing line.”