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Russell left to rue Singapore hiccups as Mercedes deliver 'race-winning car'

Russell left to rue Singapore hiccups as Mercedes deliver 'race-winning car'

F1 News

Russell left to rue Singapore hiccups as Mercedes deliver 'race-winning car'

Russell left to rue Singapore hiccups as Mercedes deliver 'race-winning car'

George Russell was left to rue his troublesome Singapore Grand Prix after declaring his Mercedes a car "capable of winning".

The Silver Arrows have struggled for pace all season other than on high-downforce layouts in Budapest and Zandvoort.

Whilst the Marina Bay Street Circuit played into the team's hands on paper, its record on bumpy street tracks has left a lot to be desired.

Lewis Hamilton proved the W13's pace in qualifying on Saturday as he claimed third on the grid, just 0.054secs behind Charles Leclerc's pole lap in his Ferrari.

A mechanical gremlin, however, left Russell only 11th before Mercedes triggered a pit-lane start when changing the Briton's power unit.

Russell struggled to make inroads into the field on intermediate tyres and became an effective guinea pig for Mercedes when switching to slicks on a still-damp surface.

Contact with Mick Schumacher's Haas added further woe to Russell's race, leaving him left wondering what might have been.

Turning first to the positives from the race, Russell said: "Confidence restored that we fixed the car and our normal pace was back.

"We definitely had a car this weekend that was capable of winning. That is one thing ticked off, let's say. Just a bit of a shame how this weekend has unfolded.

"We were very, very fast. Had it not been for that incident with Mick then we would have finished inside the top 10 definitely. Not too sure what happened there.

"It is the way F1 goes sometimes. We have had such a good run of form and as a team, we have been pretty flawless all season but obviously, this weekend went against us."

Russell explains premature slick switch

When Russell pitted for a set of medium tyres under virtual safety car conditions, he was forced to control a rally-style powerslide as he drove through the puddles on the inside of turn three.

Over the course of a number of laps, Russell lost considerable time and at one stage was lapping five seconds per lap slower than Alex Albon ahead of him.

Addressing the strategy choice, he explained: "I was asking to pit for a new set of inters.

"In my situation, the team trust me and thought it was time to go on slicks and try something.

"Obviously at the time, it was totally the wrong decision but it did pay dividends later down the line because once we did have that safety car and the restart, I overtook three cars in one lap and was up to P11 before that incident with Mick.

"It goes both ways, we had to try something but I think we showed we are making a lot of progress and that gives me confidence for the rest of the year."

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