P4 for George after a challenging weekend in Italy
George secured P4 in Imola after a difficult weekend at Formula One’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The wet conditions of the weekend continued into race day and George took his place in P11 on a set of the Intermediate Pirelli tyres.
As the lights went out, George made an excellent start to make up five places into P6 ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas before an early Safety car for Carlos Sainz neutralised track action.
On lap four of the 63 lap race, racing resumed, and George began hunting down Kevin Magnussen for P5.
By lap 12, George had closed the gap to Magnussen and dived around the outside of the Dane into Turn two but ran wide, allowing him back through. However, the Brit wasn’t finished there, making another dive down the inside of the Haas at the Variante Alta to take the P5 position.
As the track rapidly improved, George pitted on lap 19, discarding the Inters for a set of Mediums and re-joining back into P5.
As the lap ticked down, George maintained P5 until lap 54 when the Brit was able to capitalise on a mistake from championship leader Charles Leclerc and move himself into P4.
With only five laps left, Bottas started gaining ground to put pressure on George, but the Brit was able to defend against the Fin until the very end, crossing the finish line in P4 and collecting 12 points.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
I'm relatively pleased to maximise the points available this weekend. Whether we're getting the most out of the car is a different story and I do think things have fallen slightly in our favour with these first four races. I'm really happy with this P4, but if we want to sustain this position in the championship, we need to find more pace. We've got these overall limitations with the car with the bouncing, and we know that we are struggling with the tyre warm up and this is the coldest race weekend we've had by far this year. I think it's been a bit of a trend since Bahrain, we've progressively gotten a bit slower in qualifying, and I think that's because Bahrain is the hottest we've experienced so there was no problem with tyre warm up. Then we want to Jeddah, and it was still hot, but the track was a bit smoother. Melbourne, a bit cooler. Here, very cold. And that's when you see the McLarens, Alpines, and Haases coming into their own but then struggling a bit more in the race. We need to find a better compromise because we were fortunate today, we had a decent result, but ultimately, we were starting far too low on the grid.