George Russell identifies culprit for ‘terrible’ showing at Mexican Grand Prix

Sam Cooper
George Russell

George Russell finished on the podium just twice in 2023.

George Russell said a need to look after his brakes was behind his poor showing in the Mexican Grand Prix.

While team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium for the sixth time this season, Russell very nearly lost out on P6 to a charging Daniel Ricciardo.

The determining factor behind that loss of performance, according to Russell, was overheating brakes.

George Russell puts problems down to overheating brakes

Russell’s P6 was his worst since the Japanese Grand Prix and he described the last 20 laps of Sunday’s race as “just terrible.”

“The pace was really strong after the red flag, felt really good in the car, right behind cars [but] just couldn’t quite make the overtake,” he told Sky Sports F1. “And then my brakes overheated.

“I was concerned we weren’t going to make it to the end so I had to back off and as soon as I did that, I lost all the temperature in my tyre. I could never recover.

“It was like driving on ice and I was lucky to finish P6. Story of the weekend, it’s a shame because the car was definitely performing well.”

The next race sees Formula 1 return to Sao Paulo and the scene of Russell’s only win to date. As to what he hopes to achieve in the 2023 edition, Russell said a “podium if not more.”

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“I haven’t seen the weather, I think it’s a bit up and down but it should be much more consistent [than in Mexico],” the 25-year-old explained.

“We saw here [how weather can play a part]. Yesterday in qualifying, there were a lot of surprises, for good or for bad for everyone on the grid.

“I think Brazil will be a little bit more conventional, of course hoping to fight for a podium if not more.”

While P1 in the Constructors’ is decided, Mercedes are aiming to hold off Ferrari for P2, a place they failed to achieve last season.

“I think we should have definitely had it sewn up already by now,” Russell said. “I think in Brazil, we’ll have some good pace.

“I think the last few races will probably suit Ferrari a little bit more than us but we just need to have a clean weekend.”

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