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Russell rues ‘missed opportunity’ in Canada but hails Mercedes' first podium of the season after P3 result

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 09: Third placed George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes celebrates

George Russell was left disappointed as he slipped backwards in the Canadian Grand Prix from initially holding the lead to crossing the line in P3, but the Briton also hailed the progress displayed by Mercedes in an overall strong weekend for the squad.

After starting from pole position for only the second time in his career, Russell made a good start and remained in P1 for the opening segment of the race. However, he was soon overtaken by a fast Lando Norris before also losing a position to Max Verstappen amid changing track conditions.

READ MORE: Verstappen beats Norris to victory in thrilling wet/dry Canadian GP

While he made some errors and faced battles along the way with the likes of Oscar Piastri – as well as a late-race duel with team mate Lewis Hamilton – Russell ultimately took third place, marking his and Mercedes’ first podium of the season. Despite this, the 26-year-old had mixed emotions when reflecting on his eventful afternoon.

“It felt like a missed opportunity, to be honest,” Russell commented after the race. “We were really quick at the beginning of the race on the [intermediate tyres], and then obviously Lando came through really fast and then we jumped back onto the slicks.

2024 Canadian Grand Prix: Pole-sitter Russell leads away from Verstappen on the wet race start in Montreal

“[I] made a couple of mistakes out there just pushing the limits, paid the price for it but, nevertheless, first podium of the year. We truly had a really fast car this weekend, and to be back in the mix fighting for victory was really fun.

“That’s what Formula 1’s about and that’s why we go racing.”

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With Verstappen holding the lead in the second half of the race, Russell managed to retake P2 from Norris following the second pit stop phase before a mistake allowed the McLaren back through.

Asked if he had felt prior to his error that there could have been an opportunity to catch Verstappen, Russell responded: “I think so. We had the pace. Max was very strong at that point of the race, but then when we put the mediums on at the end we were really, really fast.

2024 Canadian Grand Prix: Russell takes back P3 from Hamilton to seal podium finish

“I think that mistake with Oscar when I tried overtaking him [and] I lost the position to Lewis, it cost us at least P2 and maybe we could have fought with Max later in the race.

“But we’ll take all the positives from this weekend – first podium, first pole position of the year, and it’s exciting moving forward.”

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from a dramatic Canadian GP as Verstappen takes victory

Russell’s scrap with Piastri resulted in both being summoned to the stewards after the race. Giving his take on the fight – and his battle with Hamilton – the Silver Arrows driver said: “It was pretty tight out there with Oscar, and then with Lewis at the end as well.

“I think it was hard, fair racing. It’s so difficult when there’s only one dry line, so you’ve got to be committed and trust your rivals.”

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