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Russell "playing with fire" after Monaco wall brush escape

Russell "playing with fire" after Monaco wall brush escape

Russell "playing with fire" after Monaco wall brush escape

Russell "playing with fire" after Monaco wall brush escape

George Russell felt he was "playing with fire" after escaping from a brush with a Monaco barrier.

The fine margins around the principality circuit were underlined in the final session of qualifying as Sergio Perez lost control of his Red Bull at Portier, while Fernando Alonso crashed his Alpine moments later at Mirabeau.

Russell has conceded he could easily have been the first victim in that session before going on to claim sixth position on the grid.

Asked about his touch with the barrier, Russell replied: "On my quickest lap - I'll try and post the video tonight - I hit the wall, left of turn 10 after the tunnel.

"It's impressive to see, you see the steering lock completely bend in, the wishbone bend in and then somehow I managed to keep it together."

Asked whether parts will need to be changed for the race, he added: "I don't know. I managed to finish the lap and it all seemed in one piece. We'll probably have to check and see.

"It's all playing with fire when you have a wall brush and get away with it. On that lap, I don't really know how I got away with it.

"It would have added lap time. It's risk versus reward. If you leave a bit of margin you are probably going to lose it. It's one corner out of 14."

Russell - No reason for Mercedes to be higher than sixth

Mercedes' fortunes seemed to have taken a turn for the better a week ago in Spain when Russell was engrossed in a battle with Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez before taking a podium.

But whilst sixth was not the target for the Silver Arrows, Russell conceded there was not much more to come from the package.

"P6 is not a result to be celebrating but when you look at it objectively there was no reason for us to be any higher," he explained.

"We have really struggled with the compliance of the car. It has been really stiff this weekend.

"Following Barcelona, our strengths were straight-line speed and the high-speed corners, and there are none of those here, so I was really pleased with the lap.

"Obviously there was a red flag but I was still four-tenths up on Lewis [Hamilton, Mercedes team-mate] and Fernando [Alonso] so that was promising."

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