Fifth for George Russell in Home Grand Prix
After initially struggling for pace early in the weekend, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One® Team driver turned things around in the race and looked to challenge the front-runners, before a poorly timed Safety Car curtailed his efforts.
Following a pair of points-paying finishes in Austria's Sprint weekend last time out, George was in high spirits heading to his home Grand Prix at Silverstone.
During the British Grand Prix weekend’s first practice session, George set the ninth fastest time, following it up with a 12th in FP2 and another ninth in the third session.
In a tense wet-dry qualifying session, George safely progressed through to Q1 as one of the last cars to cross the line on a drying track.
The second stage of qualifying wouldn’t be quite so easy, with George scraping through to Q3 in 10th, just one tenth ahead of Nico Hülkenberg.
In the final part of qualifying, George was the first of the 10 cars to set a time on worn tyres and as a result, his lap was only good enough for ninth.
Then came the final qualifying runs, and on fresh Soft tyres George was able to qualify sixth, narrowly missing out on a potential fourth place by two hundredths of a second.
The British Grand Prix
Starting on the Soft tyre, George was the only driver in the top 12 to be running an alternate strategy. Using the superior grip to good effect as the lights went out, he passed Calos Sainz on the run down to Turn 1.
Through the opening stint, George remained close behind Charles Leclerc, even launching a few overtaking attempts to no avail.
Testament to his tyre conservation efforts, George made his Soft tyres last much longer than other driver’s Mediums, and when he switched to the most balanced of the compounds, he held the advantage over Leclerc who was now on the Hards.
A memorable move
On Lap 31, George utilised his fresh tyres to set up a move into Brooklands, but was forced to take the outside line, in turn, giving him a superior run round the outside of Luffield to take the position with a superb manoeuvre and move into a net fourth.
Safety Car deployed
George’s pace looked to threaten the front runners, until Kevin Magnussen pulled to the side of the track, bringing out the Safety Car and effectively neutralising the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One® Team driver’s advantage.
Restarting in fifth, the car immediately in front of George was that of Oscar Piastri and, try as he might, he was unable to overhaul the McLaren, eventually crossing the line in fifth.
George Russell, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One® Team driver:
We wanted to be aggressive today and we had the chance to split the strategies. The Soft tyre felt really strong in that first stint but unfortunately, it was very difficult to overtake Leclerc. There was some questionable defending at points but in the end, I managed to get past. Having stopped for the Medium tyre, it was unfortunate timing with the Safety Car. Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes against you.
Ultimately though, we only lost one position and without it, I still wouldn’t have ended up on the podium. It didn’t change a huge amount for my race, and we can take the positives that for the Team, it is good points in the Constructors’ Championship.