George Russell takes home fifth in Monaco Grand Prix
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One® Team brought a range of updates to the W14 E Performance for this round.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which had been due to take place a week prior, was cancelled due to flooding in the region, resulting in Monaco beginning a double-header with the Spanish Grand Prix.
George got himself up to speed around the tight and narrow streets in the three Free Practice sessions, with times very close up and down the grid.
The order continued to be very close in qualifying and George was able to safely make it through into the top 10. He would eventually line up eighth on the grid for the race.
The majority of the drivers started on either the Medium or the Hard compound tyre for the start of the Grand Prix, with George on the Hard tyre.
The aim was to go as long into the race as possible and to swap onto the Medium tyre late on. However, as the rain progressed, the threat of rain hitting the circuit increased more and more.
George held his position at the start and on the opening laps of the race, keeping out of trouble. He got into a train of cars in the early stages, led by the Medium-shod Alpine of Esteban Ocon, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Mercedes-AMG team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The three cars in front pitted between laps 30 and 32, and as the threat of rain increased George looked after his Hard tyres and looked to continue until the opportune time to swap to the Intermediate tyres.
The sections around Mirabeau and Portier were worst hit when the rain arrived at around lap 50, but much of the circuit remained dry, making it very challenging on the slippery surface.
George bided his time and was up into third position when he eventually pitted at the end of lap 53 and was able to jump ahead of Ocon for a net third place, as the circuit became wetter across the whole two-mile layout.
However, on his outlap he made a small error at Mirabeau and dropped behind Ocon and Hamilton.
With overtaking at Monaco difficult, even in the rain, George held position until the end of the Grand Prix and came home in fifth for 10 World Championship points.
George Russell, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One® Team driver:
I’m very disappointed with myself. After the pit stop, I was ahead of Lewis and Esteban (Ocon) and I made a mistake, completely by myself. What’s even worse is that I wasn’t even pushing. I touched the brake and locked up; that’s cost the team a podium. One third of the track was extremely wet, another part was quite dry. If you touch the white line when it’s wet, it’s like ice. But ultimately, it’s the same conditions for everyone. We cannot judge the upgrades from this circuit. Barcelona will be the first real examination of it and it will be exciting to see how we perform. No matter what happens in Spain though, it will be interesting to learn and move forward from there.