Russell enjoys ‘very satisfying’ rise from P18 to P6 after qualifying drama that ‘won’t happen again’
George Russell was pleased to overcome his shock Q1 exit at the Hungaroring with a charging drive from the penultimate row of the grid to sixth place, completing a solid double points finish for Mercedes.
Russell lined up 18th after leaving it late for his final run in the first qualifying phase and losing out in the battle to secure track position, with team mate Lewis Hamilton going on to claim pole.
On race day, though, Russell dusted himself off and impressively worked his way through the field on an alternative tyre strategy – starting on hards along with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez – to cross the line in seventh.
That seventh became sixth after the chequered flag when Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc was penalised for speeding in the pit lane, adding to the points Hamilton scored with his drive to fourth.
Speaking after the race, Russell said: “It was very satisfying. To come away P6 from P18, you couldn’t ask for much more – the car was feeling great.
“It’s obviously disappointing that we didn’t get more points as a team this weekend, because perhaps if we were both starting in the top four maybe one of us or even both of us could have had a podium today.
“When you have two cars fighting against one other team, you always have a bit of an advantage. That was a shame, no doubt, but we learn from it, we move on and it’s good points for the teams’ championship.”
Pushed on what those learnings have been, Russell continued: “I mean, the qualifying was clear, there’s not a lot more to say from that. As a team we know that we made a big mistake and it won’t happen again.
“You learn a lot more in life from the failures and the mistakes than you do from the successes, so you sort of need them here and there.”
Russell and Hamilton’s combined points score strengthens Mercedes’ grip on P2 in the constructors’ standings, with Aston Martin slipping back after finishing P9 and P10 with Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll respectively.