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Russell rues mistakes in Canadian GP 'missed opportunity'

Russell rues mistakes in Canadian GP ‘missed opportunity’

The Mercedes driver secured Mercedes' first Grand Prix podium of the season

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George Russell admitted that numerous mistakes during the Canadian Grand Prix may have cost him the race win.

Russell rues mistakes in Canadian GP 'missed opportunity'
Russell ran wide after contact with Oscar Piastri in the closing moments of the race (Image Credit: @F1 on X)

Starting from pole position after setting the fastest time during Saturday’s Qualifying session, Russell maintained the race lead in the opening stages of the 70-lap event.

Pushing hard to keep Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris behind, the Briton wore away his Intermediate tyres quicker than those around him. This allowed Norris to snatch P1 from his compatriot on lap 21, and Russell’s woes continued as he ran wide at the final chicane and handed second position to the lurking Verstappen.

But Russell’s error-strewn afternoon didn’t end there. There was no denying the 26-year-old had the pace to win, as he opted to switch onto a fresh set of Medium tyres on lap 45 as the track dried out. He repassed Norris to claim P2, only to lose the position two laps later as he yet again ran wide at the sector one chicane.

One more error completed a trio of mistakes for the British driver. Attempting to pass Oscar Piastri with just a handful of laps remaining, Russell made contact with the McLaren and instead of climbing up a position, lost a place to teammate Lewis Hamilton.

He ultimately got back past both Hamilton and Piastri to score Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s first Grand Prix podium of 2024, but was understandably disappointed with his driving.

Paid the price

Speaking after the race, Russell felt as though he wasn’t able to make the most of a quick W15 car around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He said: “It felt like a missed opportunity. We were really quick on the inters at the beginning, then Lando came through.

“Then we jumped back on the slicks. I made a couple of mistakes out there, pushing the limits and paid the price for it.

“Nevertheless, first podium of the year. We truly had a fast car this weekend and to be in the mix fighting for victory was really fun. That’s what F1 is about and that’s why we go racing,” added Russell.

The Briton was confident that he could have challenged Verstappen for the win, but nevertheless is happy with the progress he and Mercedes made in Canada. He continued: “We had the pace. Max was very strong but when we put the mediums on at the end, we were really fast.

“That mistake with Oscar when I tried overtaking him and lost a position to Lewis, cost us at least P2 and maybe we could have thought with Max later in the race. But we will take all the positives from this weekend.”

Formula 1 will return in a fortnight’s time for the Spanish Grand Prix, which will start at 14:00 BST (15:00 local time) on Sunday 23 June. Will Russel and Mercedes continue their upturn back in Europe?

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

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