How Ferrari engineer prevented disaster at George Russell’s Canada pit stop

Michelle Foster
Ferrari mechanic grabs George Russell's runaway tyre. Canada June 2023

Ferrari mechanic grabs George Russell's runaway tyre. Canada June 2023

A Ferrari mechanic avoided potential disaster at the Canadian Grand Prix when he raced out to grab George Russell’s runaway tyre that was rolling down the pit lane.

Russell crashed his W14 in Sunday’s race when the Mercedes driver took too much kerb at the Turn 8/9 chicane and clattered hard into the wall at the exit.

Despite his car taking a hard hit, his front wing and rear-right wheel damaged in the crash, he was able to limp back to the pits where Mercedes changed his front wing and tyres and sent him back on his way.

But not before that rear-right tyre came loose and began to roll down the pit lane.

One fast-moving Ferrari mechanic shot out of the team’s garage to prevent what could’ve been a serious incident had another car been coming down the pit lane.

According to Corriere dello Sport, ‘a potential accident that was only avoided thanks to the promptness of a Ferrari mechanic’ as Russell’s tyre ‘began to roll dangerously around the pit lane.

‘Only the intervention of a mechanic from Ferrari was able to avoid the worst, even if everything was not filmed by the cameras.’ recommends

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Explaining his shunt, Russell said: “I just went a bit deep into the right-hander, and then from the left I just touched the kerb, but I clearly hit it with the bottom of the car.

“The next thing I knew I was up in the air and when I landed, lost the rear and I was in the wall.

“[I’m] kicking myself because such a small error has big consequences and that’s how it is on circuits like this. So kicking myself from my side.”

The Mercedes driver was able to rejoin the race but later retired on lap lap 53 with brake issues.

“I did a good job to get back into the mix and obviously had a bit of an issue with the brakes,” he said.

“It all stemmed from my mistake. Sorry to the team, they put so much hard work in.

“The car was performing well, we weren’t expecting to be competitive here, yet we were putting up a good fight. It looks good for the future, just disappointed in the now.

“[It] just wasn’t good enough and there were at least 12 points there on the table for us as a team.”