Nico Rosberg on George Russell’s ‘very unusual’ incident to the grid

George Russell raised eyebrows ahead of the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

George Russell delivered an unexpected sight during the build-up to the Spanish Grand Prix as he found himself in the gravel trap on his way to the grid – an unusual occurrence before the race even began.

While completing his pre-race laps en route to the downhill entry of Turn 5, the Mercedes driver pushed the limits but overshot the braking point, sending him into the gravel. 

Despite the unexpected detour, Russell managed to regain control and make his way to his planned P12 grid position.

“That’s very unusual on the formation lap like that to be hitting gravel,” Nico Rosberg told Sky Sports F1. 

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“It looked like in braking that he just braked too late and was trying his braking points for the race and just got it completely wrong there.

“He just locked up that front inside, so he was trying his braking point for the race and just had the brake balance too far forward, front tyres were still cold, just slightly locked up the front inside, and off he went, which is really not where you want to be.

“Then you always have to worry like, ‘oh my goodness, is my underfloor now damaged from those rocks?’ Because they very quickly damage some leading edges which will immediately cost you like one or two tenths of a second per lap.”

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Despite the incident, Russell remained composed and assured his team that the car was unharmed. 

When interviewed by Sky Sports F1, he downplayed the gravel incident, noting that he was testing the white lines outside the racing line. 

As the race commenced, all eyes were on Russell to see how he would navigate the challenges ahead after his unexpected off-track excursion, with the Brit providing an impressive comeback, as he secured P3 – his first podium of the year.