After the Singapore Grand Prix, George Russell struggled to hold back tears, expressing his emotional turmoil about crashing in the final lap and feeling like he’d disappointed himself and his Mercedes squad. While contesting for a third position locked in a tight race against Lando Norris and race frontrunner Carlos Sainz, Russell met with a misfortune.
On the soft bend leading to Turn 10, Russell’s car encountered a collision with the inside wall, which inevitably resulted in a plunge right into the barrier. A visibly affected Russell articulated his sentiments on Sunday evening, stating, “It’s how racing should be. You make a small mistake and you’re bitten for it.”
He lamented the demise of a weekend that brimmed with potential, noting the impressive performance of the car and their bold strategy. Russell confessed, “It’s heartbreaking after such a great weekend. The car’s felt great, qualifying was great, the race was great. I feel like I let myself down and the team down. F—— racing. It’s tough. But we’ll come back.”
Apologizing to his team, Russell reflected on the tragic last lap, asserting, “The last lap, millimeter laps of concentration and game over. So apologies to the team.”
Mercedes had enhanced Russell’s potential for securing a victory during the race, calling him and teammate Lewis Hamilton in for a change of tyres during a Virtual Safety Car period with only 17 laps left to go. The new tyres gave Russell a substantial pace advantage, effortlessly allowing him to overtake Charles Leclerc for third.
However, Carlos Sainz skillfully slowed down Norris, his second, in a tactic to make effective use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) to fend off the Mercedes drivers. Russell had a small window to overtake Norris but couldn’t seize the opportunity.
Reflecting on the intense race, Russell shared, “No words to be honest. Such a long race, physical race. Difficult to keep concentration when Carlos was doing a great job, backing the pack up not allowing us to do the alternative strategy. We were half a car’s length from winning the race. Had I got past Lando when I had the opportunity I think we’d have been able to get past Carlos.”