Poor restart cost Russell first career points

Jamie Woodhouse
George Russell

George Russell was frustrated not to convert his FP3 promise into another Q2-reaching achievement for Williams at the Eifel Grand Prix.

George Russell was gutted to miss out on his first points in Formula 1 after a poor getaway at the second restart of the Tuscan GP.

While the Briton has been the standout performer so far in his one-and-a-half years with Williams, and is also yet to be outqualified by a team-mate, Russell is still searching for those elusive first points of his Formula 1 career.

But the Tuscan Grand Prix presented the perfect opportunity as the red flags came out twice with only 12 drivers finishing the race.

And if it wasn’t for a poor final restart, Russell is certain he would have finished in the points for the first time.

“Guys, I don’t know what to say. Without that red flag, we’d have been in the points,” he said over team radio after finishing P11.

Explaining after the race what went wrong, Russell said, as quoted by Racefans.net: “I just lost all my positions off the line with that second restart with a poor launch.

“I don’t really know what happened – everything seemed to be on target with the procedures. The other starts were okay, nothing special, but that last one with soft tyres I just went into wheelspin and got hit by Kimi and then you can’t do anything from there. I drove my heart out.

“We made a mega start at the first start. Our pace was good. I was fully maintaining the position. We had ninth in the bag and just had to bring it home.”

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Russell managed to avoid the nasty collision at the first Safety Car restart which involved his team-mate Nicholas Latifi.

Fortunately a bruised hand for Carlos Sainz was the only injury suffered, and Russell said the crash was “inevitable” due to the concertina effect of cars speeding up and slowing down before the restart.

“It was kind of inevitable when it felt like they were accelerating, decelerating and there’s just a concertina effect,” he explained.

“This has happened a number of times before in junior formulae and it will always continue to happen when you have 20-odd cars in the race accelerating and decelerating every quickly. It’s not ideal. It obviously caused a lot of damage to a lot of people. The race just went wrong for us at the wrong time.”

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