George equals best F1 result amidst Mugello mayhem
George Russell equaled his best result in Formula 1 by taking 11th place at the Tuscan Grand Prix, narrowly missing out on the top 10 in what was a chaotic race at Mugello.
After a qualifying performance that the 22-year-old labeled as “disappointing”, George started the ninth race of the 2020 World Championship from 18th, forming the ninth row of the grid alongside Antonio Giovinazzi.
A hectic start to the 59-lap affair allowed George to move forward on the opening tour, with a six-car accident in Turn 2 promoting the British driver up to 11th place before the racing action was paused by an early safety car.
The race resumed once more on lap 7 but again came to a halt after the restart when Carlos Sainz Jr, Kevin Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi, and Giovinazzi collided on the start-finish straight, with this causing a subsequent red flag.
A technical issue for Esteban Ocon during this stoppage moved George forward to 10th in the overall order, with the Briton swapping his race-starting Mediums for a fresh set of the same compound ahead of a second standing start.
From 10th, George dropped to 11th after getting overtaken by Kimi Raikkonen, only to re-pass the 2007 World Champion on lap 12, next advancing to eighth when Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez pitted.
George too boxed on lap 29 for the Hard compound tyre and re-joined the race in 10th overall, re-gaining ninth when Leclerc pitted for a second time on lap 38.
Ninth became eighth when Lance Stroll crashed on lap 44 and with the deployment of another safety car, George again pitted, this time fitting the Soft tyre for the final stint of the race which was prolonged by a second red flag.
For the final standing start, George struggled to gain traction and fell to 12th place after experiencing some wheel spin, overtaking Romain Grosjean for 11th with seven laps remaining.
George closed in on Sebastian Vettel in the fight for the final points-paying position, however, was ultimately unable to overtake the four-time champion, taking 11th when the chequered flag waved to equal his best finish in Formula 1 to date.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
“It’s such a shame as the race was under control, and I was in P9 before the last red flag. I was driving like hell, everything was stable, the tyres were good, and I was ready to bring the car home. With the last restart, we had some wheel spin and this made the final stint very difficult. I am disappointed for myself and the team as I feel like we deserved that. Under normal circumstances with the great initial start we had, we would have been in the points.”
The 2020 Formula 1 World Championship will resume on September 27 when the top tier of motorsport heads to Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix.