Jack Aitken is “gutted” that his error triggered George Russell’s wretched luck at the Sakhir GP, but doesn’t feel responsible.
Russell made his Mercedes debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix in place of Lewis Hamilton who returned a positive COVID-19 test prior to the event, and that opened the door for Aitken to take over Russell’s Williams for the race weekend.
How ironic it was then that Aitken’s spin during the race, which triggered the Safety Car due to his detached front wing coming to rest on the racing line, was the catalyst for Russell’s race to fall apart.
Of course the pit stop which saw Russell fitted with the wrong tyres was completely the fault of Mercedes, and just as Russell was closing in on Sergio Perez again for what would have been the race lead the Briton was forced to stop once more due to a puncture.
So, while “gutted” for Russell, Aitken wasn’t about to share any of the responsibility.
“On the incident and George, I am gutted for George as a colleague and friend,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Obviously it was a huge opportunity for him and that’s very unfortunate… but I don’t feel responsible in any way for it.
“This is racing, it’s what happens. It’s a chain reaction. Mercedes obviously made a bit of an error and that’s very unfortunate for him, but that’s racing and I’m sure I will get my fair share.”
Sunday in Sakhir, in his own words. ❤ pic.twitter.com/AQzWuTlyyl
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 7, 2020
Aitken was able to finish the Sakhir GP in P16 ahead of Haas stand-in Pietro Fittipaldi, but he was left to rue the spin which came about after pushing just that bit too hard out of the final corner.
“I was looking pretty good on pace, we were matching the guys ahead of us and we were just sort of slightly creeping up to them,” he explained.
“I was sort of feeling like there was an opportunity, particularly with some of the retirements on the first couple of laps.
“But then I just pushed it too hard. I just took a little bit of a chance by keeping my foot in on the dust and it bit me pretty hard. So yeah, I’m really sorry to the whole team for that. It’s a real, real shame, but I think there’s a lot of positives to build on this weekend as well.”