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Russell accused of holding back by rival F1 boss

Russell accused of holding back by rival F1 boss

F1 News

Russell accused of holding back by rival F1 boss

Russell accused of holding back by rival F1 boss

After topping the timesheets in FP1 and FP3, George Russell had been expected to produce an impressive qualifying performance for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

However, the Brit struggled to capitalise on his strong start to the weekend, only managing to secure a P4 start for Sunday’s race.

Despite out-qualifying Lewis Hamilton, who will start in P11, Russell’s result wasn’t as good as Mercedes would have hoped for given Charles Leclerc lines up in P2.

If Leclerc finishes the race in that position, with Russell off the podium, Ferrari could snatch P2 in the Constructors’ Standings from Mercedes.

George Russell is in the fight for a podium finish on Sunday/

READ MORE: F1 Results Today: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice times - Hamilton struggles as McLaren fly in FP3

Looking at the session, McLaren’s Zak Brown suggested that the Mercedes driver might be hiding his true potential ahead of the season finale.

“I think there usually is in engine modes, but we’re definitely competitive,” Brown said after Russell split the two McLarens.

“Mercedes looks really good, Russell I think has more to come. You don’t know what Red Bull was doing, I find it hard to believe that they won’t be right up there when it counts. But I think we’re competitive, we’re doing pretty good.”

McLaren will be going they can gain positions in the last race of the 2023 season to help secure stay ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructors’ race.

While Aston Martin started the year strong, McLaren have pushed forward with impressive developments that have propelled them up the rankings.

Aston Martin have struggled to keep up in the development race.

“We definitely prefer to finish better in the championship and sacrifice some wind tunnel time,” Brown explained.

“It’s been a long season, it’s been a great job by the team so to be sitting here fighting for fourth in the championship and thinking about the front row, is not what I would have expected given the start of the year.

“Wherever we end up, obviously fourth is better than fifth, that’s what we’re pushing for. But it’s been an outstanding season for us and one of learning and ready for next year but we’ve got to finish strong tomorrow.”

READ MORE: Verstappen struggles in final practice as Mercedes fire big warning

McLaren are keen to finish the season strong.
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