Mercedes apologise to Russell for qualifying mistake

mercedes-apologise-to-russell-for-qualifying-mistake
Mercedes apologise to Russell for qualifying mistake

Mercedes issued an apology to George Russell on Saturday after a mistake during qualifying resulted in him starting the Hungarian Grand Prix in 18th place. The error was a consequence of a new format implemented to reduce the number of tires transported to races. In this format, drivers are required to use hard compounds in the first phase, mediums in the second, and softs for the top 10. Russell found himself in a difficult position as he attempted to create space for a final flying lap in the first phase but was overtaken by rivals at the final corner. Meanwhile, his teammate Lewis Hamilton secured pole position, his first since 2021. Toto Wolff, the team boss, admitted the mistake and apologized to Russell, acknowledging that they should have positioned him better on the track. Andrew Shovlin, the trackside engineering director, also expressed disappointment in how they handled Russell’s session and vowed to review and improve their approach. Despite feeling let down by the team, Russell praised the performance of the car but acknowledged that he was already three tenths of a second behind before reaching turn one. He expressed his disappointment in taking unnecessary risks and believed that the car had the potential to qualify for Q2 or Q3 without such difficulties. Russell dismissed the notion of a “gentleman’s agreement” among drivers and understood why some cars overtook others, given the crowded track. However, he emphasized that they should not have been in that position in the first place and accepted the consequences of their mistakes.

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