Russell won’t ‘sulk’ over losing position to Hamilton in Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix after ‘lonely race’ for Mercedes

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 19: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

George Russell was not left overly concerned after losing a position to Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix following a late pit stop, with the pair ultimately ending the event in P6 and P7.

It was a mostly quiet afternoon for the Silver Arrows in Imola. Russell held onto his starting slot of sixth when the race got under way, while Hamilton gained a position by moving up into seventh from eighth place.

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From there both drivers spent much of the Grand Prix in those places, before Russell was brought in for a surprise visit to the pits during the latter stages to bolt on a set of medium tyres. While this dropped him down to P7 behind Hamilton, it allowed the 26-year-old to claim an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

Asked to explain the decision later on, Russell responded: “Not too sure. The reason, I need to talk to the team but I think we were slightly concerned with the tyre.

“At the end of the day, as a team we’ve got one extra point. I obviously lost a position to Lewis, but it’s not something I’m going to be sulking about tonight. It was a bit of a lonely race for us.”

‘We are making progress’ insists Russell after P7 at Imola

While Mercedes were unable to match the Red Bull of Max Verstappen as well as the McLaren and Ferrari cars up ahead, Russell believes that the team have taken steps forward despite extra work still being needed.

“To be honest, I think ourselves, Ferrari and McLaren have closed the gap on Red Bull and pulled away from the midfield,” the Briton said. “So we are making progress, it’s just that our two direct rivals have made equal progress.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix as Verstappen wins in nail-biting finish

“We just need to keep on chipping away, the team are working really hard to bring performance and that’s all we can do for the time being.”

Despite Russell suggesting that the race had been a lonely one for the team, Hamilton took a different view on this. He did, however, agree that the Silver Arrows are continuing to cut into their rivals' advantage.

On whether he felt that he was in ‘no man’s land’ in the Grand Prix, Hamilton answered: “No, I had George ahead of me at the beginning. I could see people and I was chasing, so I didn’t really feel like I was alone.

‘We are slowly eking closer’ – Mercedes are closing the gap to the front, says Hamilton

“I was just pushing, trying to close whatever gap was up ahead of me. We don’t have the pace of the others at the moment, but we are slowly eking closer.”

The seven-time world champion feels that Mercedes’ main deficit is in terms of their qualifying pace rather than the performance on Sundays.

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“On a single lap it’s half a second, but in the race probably a little bit less, maybe three tenths in the race,” added Hamilton.

After Imola, the Silver Arrows remain in fourth place of the constructors’ standings on 79 points, somewhat distant from McLaren in third and fifth-placed Aston Martin. In the drivers’ championship, Russell and Hamilton hold seventh and eighth respectively.


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