Russell has yet to score a World Championship point in his career and was on the cusp of potentially doing so at Imola when running P10 behind the Safety Car in the closing stages of the race.
But, with cold tyres, Russell lost the car going downhill into Acqua Minerali and was a passenger as he crashed into the wall.
Russell cut a disconsolate figure when sat down on the grass against the track wall and he realises just how big of a chance he blew at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
“I don’t really know what to say,” Russell told Sky Sports. “I was working as hard as I could to keep the tyres working.
“I was pushing the tyres throughout the race.
“It’s probably the most on the limit I’ve ever been throughout the whole of the race.
“I think it was really showing and we were in such a good position. Obviously I went over the limit.
“As soon as I lost the car it was already too late and I was in the wall. I’m really sorry for the team and unacceptable from my side.
“I was accelerating, I was changing gear at the same time, just with cold tyres. This sometimes happens with cold tyres. It was my job to try and work them as hard as I can to try and keep Kimi and Sebastian behind me who had the new, hot fresh tyres.
“But no excuses. I’ll go away and learn from this and try to come back stronger next time.”
I don’t know what to say. No excuses. I’m so sorry guys.
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) November 1, 2020
Asked if there were any positives he could still take from the race in Imola, he added: “I mean, the positives are we were in that position on merit.
“I managed to jump [Esteban] Ocon, and pulled away from him.
“In the early phase of the race, I was at the same pace as McLarens ahead of me. The car was alive this weekend, and it was really, really fast.
“It will come I think; we’re understanding it better and better, week-in, week-out.
“My first laps have been poor, and I made probably quite a bold, aggressive move on Sebastian [Vettel] in the first corner, which is something we’ve been wanting to work on.
“I feel like maybe sometimes I’ve been a bit too conservative in the races and I definitely found the limit today.”