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Mercedes driver George Russell during Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend

Russell reveals reason behind ‘mind-boggling’ Sao Paulo Grand Prix

One year on from his maiden Formula One Grand Prix victory, George Russell couldn't have had a more contrasting experience in Brazil. The Brit's run of four consecutive point finishes came to an end at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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George Russell admits Mercedes failed to meet their “relatively high expectations” during “mind-boggling” Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend

George Russell during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
George Russell during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. (Image Credit: @MercedesAMGF1 on X)

While he may come away from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend with five points scored in the sprint, the race was one to forget for George Russell. Although his teammate Lewis Hamilton knew the writing was on the wall for Mercedes, the team couldn’t have been expecting to score only four points on race day.

Mercedes’ race result and performance in Brazil were almost enough to render Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff speechless. The race saw Hamilton finish P8 and Russell retiring on lap 57 with oil temperature issues.

Following the race, Russell has admitted that he has found the Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend “mind-boggling” to understand. The British driver admitted his team “had relatively high expectations” going into the weekend but had “absolutely no pace at all.” Russell further expanded on his thoughts regarding his team’s outing in Brazil, saying:

“[It was the] same car as the last five races, so clearly we got something wrong with the tyres and in a sprint race weekend, when you get it wrong, you can’t make amends for those issues.”

He went on to admit that “we were definitely a sitting duck” after opting to “run a bit more downforce.” The team opted for this car set-up in the hope of gaining speed through the corners and helping their tyres, but to no avail.

While their pace in Brazil is clearly a cause for concern, Russell also believes the race is “clearly a substantial, one-off event.”

Could Mercedes’ tyre woes hinder their progress in Las Vegas?

The highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix is up next. However, with the weekend’s highly unusual timing schedule, the race will be run from 22:00 until midnight (local time). In fact, many are expecting the night race to become one of the coldest races in Formula One history.

Cold track conditions will also mean that the drivers will have an even more difficult time generating tyre temperature than usual. Multiple drivers, including Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen, have already expressed their concerns about using cold tyres on a brand-new track surface. Perhaps conditions may be similar to those seen at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, which saw Lance Stroll take his maiden pole position in Formula One.

If conditions are going to be as traitorous as believed, Mercedes will not want a repeat performance.

Feature Image Credit: @MercedesAMGF1 on X

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