June 14, 2024 New York

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This Week In Motors - ThisWeekInMotors > Blog > Formula 1 > Russell won’t ‘sulk’ over losing position to Hamilton in Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix after ‘lonely race’ for Mercedes

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

George Russell was not overly concerned after losing a position to his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix following a late pit stop. The pair ultimately finished the race in P6 and P7.

It was a relatively quiet afternoon for the Silver Arrows in Imola. Russell maintained his starting position of sixth when the race began, while Hamilton gained a spot, moving up to seventh from eighth. Both drivers spent most of the Grand Prix in those positions until Russell made a surprise pit stop in the latter stages to switch to a set of medium tires. This move dropped him to P7 behind Hamilton but allowed the 26-year-old to claim an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

When asked about the decision later, Russell said, “Not too sure. The reason, I need to talk to the team, but I think we were slightly concerned with the tire. 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.”

While Mercedes were unable to match the pace of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, as well as the McLaren and Ferrari cars ahead, Russell believes the team has made progress, though more work is needed.

“To be honest, I think ourselves, Ferrari, and McLaren have closed the gap on Red Bull and pulled away from the midfield,” Russell said. “So we are making progress; it’s just that our two direct rivals have made equal progress. We just need to keep on chipping away. The team is working really hard to bring performance, and that’s all we can do for the time being.”

Hamilton had a different perspective on the race. While Russell suggested it had been a lonely one for the team, Hamilton did not feel the same way. However, he agreed that Mercedes is gradually closing the gap to their rivals.

On whether he felt he was in ‘no man’s land’ during the Grand Prix, Hamilton said, “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. 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 believes that Mercedes’ main deficit is in their qualifying pace rather than their race performance.

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

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

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