Things go from bad to worse for George Russell

George Russell is being comprehensively outperformed by seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton this year.

George Russell’s journey at the Dutch Grand Prix proved to be a tumultuous one, marred by a combination of ill-fated strategies from Mercedes and on-track encounters, most notably with Yuki Tsunoda and Lando Norris.

In a rollercoaster of events, Russell found himself facing a series of challenges that overshadowed his performance at Zandvoort. 

Mercedes’ strategy choices came under heavy scrutiny as the team opted to leave their drivers out on the track during an early rainstorm, while key competitors like Max Verstappen opted for pit stops.

The consequences were dire, as Russell’s potential for a podium finish quickly evaporated. 

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He plummeted down the order, shifting from a promising position to battling for points. 

The frustration peaked with a late-race retirement after a collision with Lando Norris led to a punctured tire.

The incident with Norris unfolded in the closing laps of the race, with both drivers vying for seventh place. 

The stewards examined the incident but ultimately decided against further investigation. 

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Russell commented on the incident, stating, “Contact with Lando, unfortunate racing incident causing the puncture so disappointing but good that we had a fast race car.”

Further elaborating on the collision, Russell emphasised, “It was very close around Turn 9, and then Turn 10, and then I ended up with a puncture. 

“Nobody’s fault, it topped off what was a bad day.” 

This marked a frustrating conclusion to a race that had seen Russell face challenges earlier on as well.

Before his encounter with Norris, Russell’s path was already beset with obstacles. 

He recounted an earlier contact with Yuki Tsunoda, which resulted in “massive vibrations” affecting his race. 

This incident came as Russell worked his way back into the top ten after Mercedes’ strategic miscalculations pushed him to the back of the field.

Reflecting on the incident with Tsunoda, Russell revealed, “I had good contact with Tsunoda earlier in the race about five laps before, and I had massive vibrations at high speed, was struggling to see, looked a little bit in my mirror and I was off the track but kept it out of the wall.” 

This event further hindered his progress and impacted his overall race pace.

Russell acknowledged that the vibrations persisted for several laps, causing him to lose valuable time. 

This setback, he believed, affected his ability to maintain his position ahead of competitors like Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly.

READ: Why Pierre Gasly was ‘pretty upset’ 

Gasly’s subsequent podium finish underscored the opportunities that Russell missed due to these challenges.

As the Dutch Grand Prix concluded without yielding any points for Russell, his position in the championship standings took a hit. 

The combination of strategic missteps and on-track incidents caused him to slide to seventh place, relinquishing a position to Carlos Sainz.