Gearbox issues forces George out of action-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Late heartbreak ends George’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix with only three laps remaining.
It was a troublesome start to the AzerbaijanGP as George dropped one position from into P16 on the first lap before opting for an early pit stop to change onto the Hard compound Pirelli tyres, re-emerging at the back of the grid in P20.
However, George was able to benefit from his early pit stop as the rest of the pack began pitting for their first stop and, by lap 10 of 51, he had recovered four positions into P16.
As the laps ticked down, George maintained his position but was unable to advance any further until a heavy crash for Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin brought out the safety car on lap 29. Due the location of Stroll’s crash, pitlane was closed whilst the marshals recovered the stricken vehicle.
Once pitlane reopened on lap 35, George pitted for a second time, changing for another set of Hard compound Pirelli tyres before rejoining the pack and focusing on gaining positions.
Unfortunately, the drama wasn’t over in Baku and a large crash for the Red Bull of Max Verstappen on lap 48 brought out the red flag, pausing the session and causing all drivers to file back into the pits whilst the track was cleared.
The red flag gave George and his Williams team the perfect opportunity to switch to the Soft compound Pirelli tyres for one last push for the points.
Once the track was deemed clear, the drivers snaked out of the pitlane and towards the grid for a standing start. However, in a devastating twist of fate, a gearbox issue for George forced him to retire from the race with only three laps remaining after reporting no power whilst on his way to the grid.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
“Unfortunately, we had a problem with the gearbox which forced me to retire before the race restart. I was just coming to the line and then I had no power, which is especially frustrating after so much anticipation building up before those final two laps. It wasn’t meant to be, and that’s racing sometimes. We’ll go away and analyse what happened.
I was having a good race before that, the car felt fast and I had a lot of confidence in it so there are definitely positives to take away from the weekend.”
George will be back for Formula One’s French Grand Prix on Friday June 18 from 10:30am BST.