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WATCH: Russell dramatically crashes out while chasing Alonso late on in Australia

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There was drama at the very start and very end of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen retiring early on amid brake woes and George Russell crashing out late on as he tried to take sixth position away from Fernando Alonso.

Russell was closing rapidly on Alonso after a later final stop and, having made several DRS-assisted attempts, he lost control of his Mercedes during the last run through the high-speed Turn 6/7 complex and slammed into the barriers.

READ MORE: Sainz storms to victory amid drama in Australia as Verstappen retires and Russell crashes out

It was a dramatic sight as television cameras cut to the scene of the incident, with Russell’s car coming to a halt on the racing line and eventually tipping on its side as the front left of the heavily-damaged W15 gave way.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: The car of George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes is seen on

Russell’s race came to a dramatic end with a heavy crash on the final lap

After swiftly reporting over the radio that he was “okay”, Russell offered up his version of events as he arrived in the media pen for his post-race interviews.

“I really don’t know what happened, to be honest,” said Russell. “I was half a second behind Fernando on the entry of the corner and then suddenly, before the apex, I was right on his gearbox and lost the car, ran wide.

READ MORE: Hamilton brands Melbourne weekend ‘a real struggle’ even before Lap 17 retirement

“Unfortunately the wall was… well, I ran wide, hit the wall and then it was obviously a dramatic few seconds after that. It’s a disappointing end to a difficult race.”

Race Highlights: 2024 Australian Grand Prix

It added insult to injury for Mercedes who suffered a double DNF after Lewis Hamilton’s earlier retirement due to an engine problem and dropped to fifth in the constructors’ standings – behind Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin.

“For sure the pace wasn’t where we wanted it to be,” added Russell. “We showed spells of good lap times but ultimately it wasn’t where we wanted and we have work to do.”

AS IT HAPPENED: All the action from the 2024 Australian Grand Prix as Verstappen and Hamilton retire

Following the moments just before the crash that Russell referred to above, both the Briton and Aston Martin racer Alonso have been called to visit the stewards after the race.

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