Mercedes reveal true cause behind George Russell Canada DNF

Sam Cooper
George Russell during the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, Canada. June 2023

George Russell during the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, Canada. June 2023

Mercedes have said it was a brake problem rather than damage from the crash that caused George Russell to retire from the Canadian Grand Prix.

As he was running in P4, Russell took one corner a little too aggressively and found himself riding the kerb. With little he could do about it, Russell exited the corner with too much speed and hit the right of his car heavily against the barrier.

With it initially looking like his race was over, Russell limped back to the pits in his wounded W14 where the team were able to complete the necessary repairs for the Brit to get going again.

Having worked to get up from last to within the points, Russell’s race then ended early when the team informed him they would have to retire the car.

At the time, it seemed as if Russell’s earlier crash had been the cause of the DNF but Mercedes have now revealed it had nothing to do with it.

“First of all, I think George drove a great weekend, as did Lewis [Hamilton] for that matter,” chief technical officer Mike Elliot said.

“At the start of the race, I think George drove a great stint on the tyres. He was managing his tyres well and we were starting to see the pace coming for him as we were getting towards the end of that stint.

“Unfortunately, he just clipped the kerb in Turn 8; that was enough to unsettle the car and for him to lose the rear end and then crash on the exit of Turn 9. As you could see from the footage, he did quite a lot of damage: he damaged the front wing, broken the rear rim and therefore had a puncture and that’s what caused us to bring him in.

“The DNF itself was actually due to brake wear. You push the brakes really hard at a circuit like Canada; it’s a lot of big stops and we could see in our telemetry data the brake wear on George’s car was getting out of control. We could also see that we weren’t going to make the end of the race if we carried on as we were. recommends

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“We could also see that where he was in traffic, in the DRS train, having to overtake the cars in front of him, it was almost going to be impossible to manage his brakes and unfortunately, we had to retire the car.

“In terms of the real damage done to the car, in ways we got lucky. The damage to the front wing obviously we could change the wing at the pit stop. The damage to the tyre and the rim we changed that at the pit stop and the floor and rear wing were pretty much came unscathed.

“However, when you have a shunt of that magnitude it is always going to unsettle the car, it’s always going to leave the car not quite balanced as you want it to. George had to deal with that for the rest of the race.”

Having had just one retirement in 2022, Russell has now not completed two races in 2023 having already retired from the Australian Grand Prix due to engine issues.