George ends frenetic Qualifying in P8 in Canada
A bold qualifying gamble ends George’s pole charge in Montreal.
With the rain falling across the track, George opted to wait until the middle of the FP3 session to join.
On his first run, George put in a 1.39.796 to place into P12 before quickly improving into P3 on the timings.
Putting in 11 laps of the Canadian circuit, George delivered his best lap time of 1.34.259 to end the morning in P7 ahead of the vital Qualifying session.
The wet conditions carried on into Qualifying with the entire field donning the Wet Pirelli tyres.
In the opening stages of Q1, George put in a 1.34.989 to take him top of the timings before being pushed down the order as the number of early flying laps came in.
George continued to improve his lap time as the session unfurled to secure his place into Q2 with a 1.33.160.
In Q2, the Brit put in his benchmark lap time of 1.32.960 to slot into P6 before a red flag for Sergio Perez halted the session with nine minutes on the clock.
Once the Red Bull machine was retrieved, the session resumed and George quickly got back to work, putting in a 1.29.464 to take him into P1 before being shuffled down the timings into P3 where he ended the session, guaranteeing him a spot in the pole shoot out.
With the track continuing to evolve, the field was split between Intermediate and Wet tyres with George opting to run the Wets for the all-important Q3 session.
Putting in a 1.24.006, George climbed to the top of the timings but was unable to hold onto the place for long before being pushed down into P5.
With four minutes remaining, George gambled on the Soft tyres as he aimed for pole position.
Unfortunately, track conditions proved too wet for the bold move and the Brit spun at Turn Two, making brief contact with the barrier but was able to continue.
Unable to improve on his position, George ended the day in P8 where he will start the Canadian Grand Prix.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team
Today was high risk, high reward - switching to Slicks was our only chance to get pole position today. It was literally just turn 1, had that been as dry as the other corners we could have been in a really good place. We showed some really strong pace today but as I said on the radio, I'm not here to settle for P4/P5, we need to try things and at the end of the day, points are tomorrow and I'm glad we tried something different. In Sochi last year, I made a similar gamble and it paid off to get P3 for Williams so I'm always open to making the switch, particularly as we've had worse qualifying sessions this year in normal circumstances. For tomorrow, we should be able to pass the cars around us, starting P8, and move back up to P4/P5. Obviously, we have Checo and Charles behind us fighting their way back through so I just need to make sure I get up there as soon as possible tomorrow.