Gremlins grind George to a halt in Austrian Grand Prix
A fuel pressure problem forced George Russell to retire from the 2020 season opener.
Two weeks on from his F1 Esports debut at Albert Park – a race in which the Briton secured silverware – George took to the Shanghai International Circuit with more experience on F1 2019.
This experienced showed and for a second consecutive race, George impressed in qualifying, posting a competitive 1:29.787s run that was worthy of second place.
Receiving a five-place grid penalty for alleged illegal blocking, however, George started the race from fifth and with a strong getaway, pulled alongside Louis Deletraz and Guanyu Zhou to immediately battle for third.
Pushed off the track on the entry to Turn 1, George slipped down the field, completing the opening lap in eighth place in quick pursuit of the pack ahead.
Pitting at the end of lap three to perform the undercut strategy – swapping his race-starting Soft tyres for a set of Hards – George rejoined in 18th place with a clear track ahead, next overtaking Lazio striker Ciro Immobile.
Advancing to 15th when Nicholas Latifi and Pietro Fittipaldi pitted, George’s comeback drive commenced, overtaking Ian Poulter, Callum Ilott, Antonio Giovinazzi, and Louis Deletraz to move into the top 10.
Continuing to battle forward, George closed in on the battle for the podium after advancing to fifth place, clearing Liam Lawson, Thibaut Courtois, Juan Manuel Correa, Carlos Sainz Jr and Esteban Gutierrez en route.
Running closely behind Zhou as the final lap commenced, George was unable to clear the Renault, taking the chequered flag in fifth before getting promoted to fourth when third-placed finisher Stoffel Vandoorne received a time penalty.
Video Courtesy of Formula 1