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Russell says sorry to Williams for Styrian GP error

Russell says sorry to Williams for Styrian GP error

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Russell says sorry to Williams for Styrian GP error

Russell says sorry to Williams for Styrian GP error

George Russell has issued an apology to his Williams team for a mistake that blotted a previously superb Styrian Grand Prix weekend.

Russell gave Williams its best qualifying performance for 20 months on Saturday as it reached Q2 for the first time since the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, lining up 11th after Charles Leclerc had been handed a three-place grid penalty.

With a potential points finish in his sights, Russell, unfortunately, ran wide onto the gravel soon after the safety car restart that had followed the lap-one collision involving Ferrari duo Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.

With his race compromised, Russell could only manage 16th of the 17 that finished the race, ahead of team-mate Nicolas Latifi.

Recalling what unfolded, Russell said: "I had Lando [Norris] and [Lance] Stroll ahead of me [at the restart]. I was tucked up behind Lando, I had the inside line out of [turn] three, but Kevin [Magnussen] was on my outside, and he managed to overtake me on the brakes into four.

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"He went wide, I kept it on the inside of the exit of the corner and was planning to try and hold it on the outside into turn six, but I went in too deep, I locked the rears which put me off line, and there was just zero grip there.

"It was complete driver error, I completely hold my hands up to that, and I apologise to the team. It wasn't good enough from my side. It was a very difficult race from then on in, with a huge lack of pace in comparison to our qualifying speed."

The first two races have underlined to Russell that while the car is good over one lap, it is lacking during the race, an issue he hopes the team can quickly overcome.

"We need to analyse it further," added Russell. "These last two weekends have been interesting. We approached them thinking we would struggle a bit more in qualifying, have better race pace in comparison. That's what we learned in winter testing.

"And yet both qualifying sessions and races have been the complete opposite. We've had strong pace in qualifying and we've really struggled in the race, in all honesty.

"It is a sport where qualifying is key, but looking at our pace we probably would have ended up in the same position [16th] had I not gone off as well, with the pace we had. We probably would have been in the same position."

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