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Russell rues costly Hamilton tussle

Russell rues costly Hamilton tussle

F1 News

Russell rues costly Hamilton tussle

Russell rues costly Hamilton tussle
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

George Russell has conceded to being cautious in his approach to turn one at the Mexico City Grand Prix due to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton being in close proximity.

The British duo started second and third behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen, with Russell best positioned to attack the Dutchman.

But Russell was tentative when attacking the outside of the first corner, and was instead forced into a battle with Hamilton at turns two and three that eventually caused him further pain when losing out to Sergio Perez at turn four.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to overtake Max on the outside," explained Russell.

“But having Lewis on the inside, obviously being my team-mate, I didn’t want to be too aggressive.

“Ultimately, that cost me and caused me to lose two positions.

“If I’d managed to maintain position, I probably would have finished second today.

“Lots of positives to take away. It would have been interesting to see how we performed had we started on the soft and gone to the medium, or even if we extended the medium and went to the soft on the end.

“That’s what I was pushing for in the car, but everything’s easier with hindsight.”

READ: Wolff urges Mercedes to stay humble when 'reaching for the stars'

Russell wary of previous errors

Russell's first lap issues and Mercedes' questionable medium-hard tyre strategy left him stuck in fourth, though a late switch to softs earned a fastest-lap bonus point.

But on whether he would have been more aggressive on the opening lap had he not been in battle with team-mate Hamilton, Russell said: "There was more in turn one.

"Ordinarily, I would’ve just chopped across, and turn two I would’ve run the driver wide.

“That’s the way the game works sometimes.

“I’d like to think, had it been the same but the other way around, maybe, maybe not, I’m not too sure."

Referring to making recent errors in Singapore, Japan and the United States, Russell claims his turn-one approach in Mexico reflected that.

“On my behalf, the last three races have been scrappy," added the Briton.

"Too many incidents, too many mistakes, and that was probably a factor in taking it too cautiously.

“There’s a balance in there somewhere.”

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