George misses out after late DNF in Australian Grand Prix

March 25, 2024
2024 Round 3
2024 Round 3
2024 Round 3
Melbourne
British Formula One driver George Russell was set for a points finish before an incident in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix which resulted in a crash.
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George misses out after late DNF in Australian Grand Prix

March 25, 2024
2024 Round 3
2024 Round 3
British Formula One driver George Russell was set for a points finish before an incident in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix which resulted in a crash.

George misses out after late DNF in Australian Grand Prix

March 25, 2024
2024 Round 3
2024 Round 3
British Formula One driver George Russell was set for a points finish before an incident in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix which resulted in a crash.

George misses out after late DNF in Australian Grand Prix

Published:
March 25, 2024
at
5:00 pm

British Formula One driver George Russell was set for a points finish before an incident in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix which resulted in a crash.

George and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team began the race weekend with a focus on learning and data gathering. Although the initial practice session was tight, the team found positives in the improvements they had made following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to minimise bouncing.

Overall, the car felt promising during Free Practice One, with George finishing the session in third.

As the track continued to grip up in FP2, George tested Soft and Medium tyres. However, the session wasn’t as strong as the first practice of the day due to the car being slightly more difficult to handle in the windier conditions.

Initial data gathered from Friday indicated the risk of tyre graining, necessitating careful stint management and the potential for multiple pitstops.

Following overnight adjustments by the team to enhance the car, George was much happier with its balance in FP3, resulting in improved lap times. He began the session on Soft tyres and worked on getting the tyres into the right window. After a strong session George finished practice in fifth, only 0.172s off the leading time.

Unfortunately, the strong FP3 performance did not translate into the Qualifying session. The slight rise in track temperatures and a shift in wind direction nullified the earlier positive balance, pushing the car outside of the working window.

It wasn’t the Qualifying session George was hoping for. While he finished sixth in Q1, there was still work to be done in Q2.

George progressed to Q3 in 10th before qualifying seventh after using his final set of new Soft compound tyres. It was a challenging session with a solid effort from George, but the team will be seeking to make improvements for future races.

Starting the race on Medium tyres, George had moved up to fifth before pitting on lap nine.

Halfway through the race, George was running seventh behind Fernando Alonso.

With 17 laps to go, George’s pace was looking good and he was consistently setting personal best laps.

On lap 46, George pitted for the final time, opting for another set of Hards. He came out in seventh, with the intention of hunting down Alonso, who was on older tyres, to optimise his points for the race.

George spent the final few laps rapidly closing in on Alonso with fresher tyres, but he struggled to get the move done for sixth place.

After making several DRS-assisted attempts, George lost control of his car on the penultimate lap at the fast right-handed Turn Six and hit the barriers, resulting in a DNF.

The 2024 F1 season will resume on April 5-7 for the Japanese Grand Prix.

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team driver:

I’m OK after the accident fortunately. I don’t really know how to explain what happened. I was half-a-second behind Fernando [Alonso] 100 metres before the corner and then suddenly he came back towards me extremely quickly. It was clear that he braked earlier than he had done on previous laps and then got back on the throttle. I wasn’t expecting that, and it caught me by surprise. I hit the wall and had a dramatic few seconds after that.
It was a disappointing end to a difficult race. Our pace wasn’t where we wanted it to be. We showed spells of good lap times but ultimately we’ve got work to do to catch those ahead. We will be focused on how we can make improvements ahead of Japan in two weeks’ time.