Terrifying George Russell radio message emerges after huge Australian GP crash

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes driver George Russell with his helmet visor open.

George Russell's helmet visor open.

The panic was clear in George Russell’s voice as he pleaded for the red flags while stranded in the middle of the track, following a major shunt at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver had been hunting down Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, looking to snatch P6 in the closing stages. The result of that battle was shrouded in controversy.

Panicking George Russell pleads for red flags

As Russell followed Alonso into Turn 6, the extreme speed differential in Russell’s favour caught him out, causing the Brit to lose control of his Mercedes W15 and slam into the barriers, his car then coming back onto the track and to a rest sideways in the middle of the road.

Russell thankfully was unharmed in the incident, but shook up and high on adrenaline, went into a state of panic as he feared for what may come with cars set to sweep through that section in the immediate aftermath.

As he came onto team radio, Russell shouted: “Red flag! Red flag! Red flag! I’m in the middle of the track! Red flag! Red flag! Red! Red! Red! Red! Red!

“I’m in the middle! Red! F*cking hell!”

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While the race was not red flagged for that final lap, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed to neutralise the Grand Prix and allow for fellow drivers to safely navigate their way through the Russell crash scene.

And as for how the stewards assessed that incident, Alonso was punished severely via a 20-second time penalty and three penalty points for his Super Licence due to “potentially dangerous” driving.

The stewards said the telemetry showed Alonso had lifted more than 100 metres earlier than on any other lap of the race, braked slightly and down-shifted at a point he didn’t usually brake.

Alonso responded by claiming that he intended to slow earlier for the corner to get a better exit, which he got slightly wrong, resulting in a “considerably and unusual closing speed between the cars.”

And when discussing the incident with Sky F1, Alonso said: “I was focusing in front of me and not behind. I had some issues for the last 15 laps or something on the battery and deployment.

“So, yeah, definitely I was struggling a little bit at the end of the race, but I cannot focus on the cars behind. He’s okay. I saw the car and I was very worried.”

That penalty dropped Alonso two spots to P8, while Russell’s crash meant that neither Mercedes W15 saw the chequered in Australia, Lewis Hamilton having dropped out earlier with an engine failure.

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