George ends first F1 Sprint of 2022 in P11
George ends a tricky Saturday in P11 after the first F1 Sprint of the 2022 season at Imola.
After a Friday of rain, George made good use of the sunny weather as he took to the track for the final practice session on a set of Medium Pirelli tyres.
Setting a benchmark 1.22.152 lap time to put himself into P8 on his first run, he improved into P7 before pitting to switch onto the Soft tyres.
With 30 minutes remaining, the Brit delivered his best lap time of 1.19.457 to move him to the top of the timings and into first.
As the clock ticked down, no one was able to challenge George’s lap time and the Brit ended FP2 in first position.
Lining up on a set of Soft tyres, George took his place in P11 on the grid as he prepared for the first Sprint of the 2022 season.
As the lights went out, George was shuffled back one position in P12 before an early safety car neutralised track action as the stricken Alfa Romeo of Guanyu Zhou was retrieved.
On lap four of the 21 lap race, the safety car was removed, and racing resumed.
George steadily began chasing down the Haas of Mick Schumacher ahead of him as he aimed to regain some positions.
In the last five laps of the race, Schumacher caught the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel ahead and George was able to quickly sweep past the veteran German driver for P11.
George ended the Sprint in P11 and will line up on the sixth row for tomorrow’s race.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
It wasn't very enjoyable for us today and it was difficult to overtake, we had some good pace but not the speed in a straight line to really make progress. The sprint races are very short and there isn't time for the tyres to start degrading, creating differences between drivers and cars, opening up opportunities. We didn't make strong starts today which is unlike us, we've made solid starts recently. Strategy is going to be key tomorrow, we'll have to do something different to our competition, that will give us opportunities to fight and move up the grid. It's been a difficult weekend so far for us, tyre warm-up has been difficult, we need to get on top of things and capitalise on what is possible tomorrow.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, April 24 from 2pm BST.