Russell: Imola crash the biggest mistake of my career

George Russell called his crash behind the safety car at Imola "the biggest mistake I've ever made" after squandering the chance to score his first Formula 1 point.

Russell: Imola crash the biggest mistake of my career
Listen to this article

Williams driver Russell has sat 11th overall prior to a safety car called following a tyre failure for Max Verstappen, with the incident promoting Russell into 10th place.

But before the British driver could have any thoughts about scoring the first point of his F1 career, a mistake while running behind the safety car saw him spin into the wall approaching Acque Minerali and crash out of the race.

"I was pushing like hell from the start to finish, and under the safety car I was just giving it absolutely everything to keep the tyres in and really trying to find the limit," Russell explained.

"There's absolutely no excuses. I hit a small bump as I changed gear and I was already in the wall before I could save it. It's just absolutely gutting."

Russell has come close to scoring his first F1 point on a number of occasions since making his debut in 2019, making the mistake more painful as he did not know when he would get another chance.

"It's probably the biggest mistake I've ever made in my career," Russell said.

"You're kicking yourself even more because previously in junior series, if I were to make a mistake and say lose a race or lose a victory, you know that you go the next one and you are in that position again.

"I think the team did an amazing job this weekend, and there's a lot of things to take away that were positive, to be in that position and equally we were in that position because we were very aggressive.

"We weren't leaving absolutely anything on the table. Unfortunately that was the reason that got us there in the first place, but equally the reason why it ended how it did."

Russell was seen sitting by the side of the track after getting out of his car with his helmet still on, and took several minutes before getting up and returning to the paddock.

"It was almost disbelief, in all honesty," Russell said when asked what was going through this mind at that moment.

"It was such an amateur mistake that I almost just could not believe it just happened. It was just pure frustration and annoyance at the error I just made.

"I've been through difficult times in my career before. A mistake like this is very strange, because it was such a school boy error.

"We've got a lot to be positive and pleased about with this weekend. I think we were incredibly fast, relatively.

"But ultimately, I've definitely learned from this experience. These cars are brutal and can definitely go at you at any moment, especially in these cold conditions on very worn tyres."

shares
comments

Related video

Horner: Verstappen's F1 tyre failure "totally instantaneous"
Previous article

Horner: Verstappen's F1 tyre failure "totally instantaneous"

Next article

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Driver ratings

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Driver ratings
Load comments
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022