Russell had Sochi in his mind when taking big qualifying gamble

George Russell had a spin during qualifying in Canada after a gamble by going onto Slicks at the end, leaving him in P8.

Mercedes’ George Russell has no regrets over his decision to switch onto Slicks at the end of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

In wet conditions, a slightly dry line had started to appear on the circuit, so Russell opted to take a gamble on put on a set of Slicks in a bid to usurp Max Verstappen for P1.

However, while one or two parts of the track were dry, there were still a lot of puddles around many of the corners, meaning that it was just too wet for the 24-year-old to get any purchase.

The end result was him spinning into the wall on the exit of Turn Two, but he thankfully avoided any serious damage to his W13.

Team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton ended in P4 ahead of the outstanding Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, while Esteban Ocon grabbed seventh ahead of Russell.

However, it was a risk worth taking as far as the young Briton is concerned, so he was not overly disappointed at the result.

“Not at all really because had I stayed on Inters, I’d have qualified P3, P4 which okay is not a bad result,” explained Russell.

“But in a scenario like that, you’ve got an opportunity to do something extraordinary and go for pole.

“Sochi last year, we did that with Williams and qualified P3 and it doesn’t take a lot for that just to change.

Article continues below

“So, I’m glad I went for it, glad we tried it, it wasn’t meant to be today but that’s what you’ve got to do sometimes.”

Canada is generally a power track and, partly due to Mercedes’ bouncing this year, they are lacking on the straights, but their overall pace is such that they can compete with Alpine and Haas, so all is not lost.

“I think it might be a little bit tricky to overtake because we’re lacking a bit of straight-line speed,” conceded Russell.

READ: Leclerc unhappy with the FIA for forcing Ferrari to ‘bin their work’ because of Mercedes

“We’ve got good pace compared to the teams around us so hopefully we can do something with strategy to get ahead of the Haas and Ocon.”

Max Verstappen went on to take pole in Montreal, ahead of the magnificent Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.