From contact with Yuki Tsunoda to yet more with Lando Norris, George Russell had to contend with more than a questionable strategy from Mercedes at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Russell had a day to forget at the Dutch Grand Prix as Mercedes got their strategy “catastrophically wrong”, as Toto Wolff put it, as they left the drivers out on track in the early rain storm while the likes of race leader Max Verstappen pitted.
Falling down the order, Russell went from podium contender to fighting for points to a late-race retirement having suffered a puncture while racing Norris.
George Russell: Nobody’s fault, it topped off what was a bad day
Additional reporting Sam Cooper
Racing his compatriot for seventh place with four laps to go, Russell’s tyre was punctured as he and Norris collided with the stewards noting the incident but ruling no further investigation was necessary.
Although Russell made it back to the pits, the Mercedes driver told the team he was “done” and parked his W14.
“Contact with Lando,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com, “unfortunate racing incident causing the puncture so disappointing but good that we had a fast race car.”
Reiterating to the official F1 website that it was a “racing incident”, Russell gave more details, adding: “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.”
But before that he’d also had contact with Tsunoda as he worked his way back into the top ten after Mercedes’ earlier strategy blunder dropped him to the back of the field.
Revealing that caused “massive vibrations”, Russell reckons it was the second blow of the day in his bid to reach the podium as he had at one point been close to Pierre Gasly who went on to finish on the podium.
“I had good contact with Tsunoda earlier in the race about five laps before,” he said, “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.
“It was literally from the incident with Tsunoda, it lasted for about five laps so I lost probably three or four seconds of race time.
“That was a shame because probably could have stayed ahead of Lewis, Lando and, I can’t remember who else, Gasly I think it was who came out the pits so where Gasly ended up it could have been a very different story.”
Failing to score at Zandvoort, Russell dropped to seventh in the championship having lost a position to Carlos Sainz.