Russell: Mercedes F1 "had to try something" with slick tyre gamble

George Russell says Mercedes "had to try something" with his his unsuccessful gamble to switch from intermediate to slick tyres during Formula 1's wet-dry Singapore GP.

Russell: Mercedes F1 "had to try something" with slick tyre gamble
Listen to this article

Russell had started from the pitlane after taking a new power unit under parc ferme, and during his attempt to regain ground he went up an escape road after making contact with the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas and dropped back.

Given that he was at the back of the field, Russell agreed with the team’s suggestion that he try slicks, but it was evident straight away that it was too early as he almost went off at the first corner.

He was well off the pace of every other car, but having made the choice he stuck with it and began to see an improvement in pace – which eventually prompted other teams to make the switch.

He lost more ground later in the race when a collision with Mick Schumacher's Haas caused a puncture and led to an extra stop. Russell eventually finished 14th, having set fastest lap on his new tyres.

“Well, I was asking the pit for a new set of inters,” Russell said when asked by Motorsport.com about his early move to slicks. “And in that situation, I trust the team, the team trust me, they thought it was time to go on slicks and try something.

“I was in a position where I just thought screw it, we need to do something. F1's very frustrating when it's like this. But out of so many races we've had this year – seventeen? Fifteen of them have been pretty great. So we can't get it right every time.

"There was a bit of confusion across the board, to be honest. So in a race like this when you're in no man's land, tensions are high, and you've just got to try something.”

George Russell, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Russell said that as the race unfolded things came back him: “Obviously at the time, it was totally the wrong decision. But it did pay dividends later down the line.

“Because when we had that safety car and the restart, I overtook three cars in one lap, and was up to P11 before the incident with Mick.

“So it goes both ways. We had to try something. But I think we showed we are making a lot of progress. And that gives me optimism for the rest of the year.”

Despite its worst points haul of the season, Russell was adamant that there were positives to be drawn from the weekend, stating Mercedes was at its "normal pace" following difficult rounds at Spa and Monza.

“Well, I think firstly, confidence restored that we fixed the car today," he said. "And our normal pace was back.

“And we definitely had a car this weekend that was capable of winning. So that's one thing ticked off, let's say. And just bit of a shame how this weekend has unfolded. But it's just the way F1 goes sometimes. We've had such a great run of form. And as a team, I feel like we've been pretty flawless all season. But obviously this weekend things went against us.”

Russell suggested that the difficulty in overtaking in Singapore had contributed to his incidents.

He added: “You have to be in audacious in these conditions. And without DRS, and on a circuit like this these F1 cars are nigh on impossible to overtake.

"I feel like F1 has something to learn about these kinds of circuits that the only overtaking opportunities, it's here, and in Barcelona, the corners are too quick.

“You're braking just after the 100-metre board into that 90-degree left hander. There's enough space there to make it a tighter corner to get better racing, better overtaking.

“I lunged from our long way back. If it paid off, then great, but it didn't. But nevertheless, we caught him back up and two laps. It goes to show the pace where we had today.”

Read Also:
shares
comments
Ten things we learned from the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix
Previous article

Ten things we learned from the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

Next article

McLaren: Singapore F1 swing showcases "open battle" for P4 with Alpine

McLaren: Singapore F1 swing showcases "open battle" for P4 with Alpine
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022