George Russell did not have the easiest day at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix as he came across the line for an eighth-placed finish.
The Briton started P8 after a slightly disappointing qualifying for Mercedes on Saturday, but he made his way up to seventh off the start when Carlos Sainz hit the barrier.
The subsequent red flag led to a lengthy delay, during which race control’s decision to send a recovery vehicle out on track, thus endangering the lives of the drivers and marshals, was scrutinised.
Pierre Gasly was nearly hit by it, but he has since been penalised by the stewards for speeding under red flag conditions, while the governing body will investigate the negligent series of events.
Russell was holding on to seventh on the restart, before the drivers started realising that the Inters were probably a better option than the extreme Wets.
Sebastian Vettel was one of the first to think if it, as was Nicholas Latifi, who went on to score his first points of the season in ninth.
When Russell was called in, the Mercedes team serviced him right after they were done with Sir Lewis Hamilton, who ended the race fifth behind Esteban Ocon.
The 24-year-old was particularly unhappy at the timing of his stop, and he let the team know that it was the “worst decision” they could make.
The time loss enabled Vettel to jump him, and after Fernando Alonso came in for another set of Inters, he got back ahead of the King’s Lynn-born driver at the start of the final lap.
Russell came across the line for four points, while Alonso cleared Vettel for P6 right on the finish line.
In response to the recovery vehicle being on track, Russell tweeted that it “never” should have happened.
Max Verstappen, meanwhile, sealed his second world title with a victory ahead of Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc.