George Retires from 2023 Canadian Grand Prix
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One® Team looked to continue its form after scoring a double podium in Spain.
It was not long into the weekend before running was interrupted, as Pierre Gasly's Alpine came to a halt early in FP1 before George could get any running in. At the same time, an issue with local CCTV was discovered, and it was not possible to resume the session.
This led to FP2 being extended to 90 minutes. George and Mercedes were able to get some good running in despite the session being twice interrupted for a red flag and rain late on and set competitive times with George second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The rain remained for FP3 when Saturday arrived and continued into qualifying. Qualifying was about being on the track on the right tyre at the right time, and George was able to time it well, including a brief switch to slicks in Q2. This culminated in fifth in the session for the British driver, which became fourth on the grid when Nico Hulkenberg was hit with a penalty.
George, like many of his competitors, started on the Medium tyre in the race. From fourth, he held his position in the early stages, keeping close to Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in front.
However, on lap 12 George clipped the kerb at Turn Nine, and this sent him into the wall and damaging his front wing. He was able to return to the pits, and swift work from the Mercedes mechanics and a Safety Car allowed George to remain on the lead lap, albeit at the back of the field on a new set of Hards.
When the race restarted, George found himself in a DRS train with much of the field. He was able to pick drivers off one by one, namely when they went for a second stop, to run eighth in the order.
However, as the race began to enter its closing stages a brake problem manifested itself, which forced George to retire the car from the race.
George Russell, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One® Team driver:
"Apologies to the Team. We've put so much hard work and effort into this weekend and a small mistake has had massive consequences. I was doing everything I could to put Fernando under pressure. I then ran a little bit wide and hit the kerb; next thing I knew I was in the wall. That's at least 12 points that we've left on the table today.
We did a good job after that to get back into the mix. Sadly we had an issue with the brakes which forced us to retire the car. They felt OK from my side, but the Team can see the data and could see that we couldn't continue. I'm disappointed with the race today but there are positives we can take away. The car was quick on a circuit that we weren't expecting to be that competitive and we took the fight to those around us. The Team is doing a great job and the future is exciting. Let's see what the upcoming races bring."