George Russell jokes ‘rogue Australian fan’ gave him the bird in Canada

Michelle Foster
George Russell signage 63. Spain June 2023

Mercedes driver George Russell signage 63. Spain June 2023

Shown the bird during Friday’s second practice at the Canadian Grand Prix, George Russell has jokingly called for an investigation into the “rogue Australian fan” that flipped him off.

Putting in the laps at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday afternoon, Russell drove down the pit lane and past the Red Bull gantry where the team’s reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo was watching the action.

The Aussie showed his former rival one of his more typical greetings.

“There was a rogue Australian fan in the pit lane as well at some point,” Russell joked to F1TV.

“I don’t know what it was, he stuck his finger up on me or something when I was waiting to go out.

“It was around the Red Bull area, they need to check the video and see if an investigation should go into this.”

Russell went onto finish the day second quickest in his B-spec W14, the Briton’s just 0.027s off the pace set by his own team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

It was a good end to what had been a disjointed day with FP1 halted after just a handful of laps had been completed due to a CCTV issue at the track.

“It’s obviously been a bit of a strange day,” said Russell. “We’ve obviously saw what happened in FP1 and then the extension of FP2. It was a reasonably productive session.

“Okay, we can read too much into the timings. Obviously we did a low fuel qualifying prep towards the end of the session when the track was quicker.

“It’s bumpy, it is blimmin’ bumpy out there.”

Asked whether the Canadian track would allow Mercedes to fine-tune their upgraded package more than they could in Spain, a race where Hamilton and Russell recorded a two-car podium, the 25-year-old downplayed that.

“I think between Barcelona and here are two totally different circuits – Barcelona [a] super smooth high-speed circuit, here it is incredibly bumpy,” he said. recommends

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“But I do think the upgrades we brought to the car in Barcelona have helped the limitations that we probably would have had more of with the old specification of car.

“We need to find out where we’re going to be. I think we’re still on the tail end especially in in qualifying pace compared to Ferrari and Aston Martin. Valtteri [Bottas] looked quick, maybe an Alpine.

“But you know, we always know it comes to us on a Sunday so that’s when it’s going to matter. Looks to be wet tomorrow so let’s see what it brings.”