George Russell reveals dicey Mercedes strategy that contributed to DNF during Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes driver George Russell has pointed towards the high amount of traffic in front of him as being one of the primary contributors in his retirement at the Canadian Grand Prix.

With Russell’s car “a bit bent” following a minor crash at the beginning of the race that saw him behind the pack and with a puncture to his right-rear tyre, the race was always going to be an uphill battle.

While the youngster was able to find enough in his car to crawl into the pits for a new set of tyres, his early signs of turning the race around didn’t quite materialise.

Russell had made his way back up the field up to P8, but was forced to retire around 15 laps before the end of the race, with his team communicating that his brakes had overheated.

The 25-year-old tried his best to stay out on the track as long as he could and even slowed the car down hoping that it would help cool the brakes, but his efforts proved fruitless.

He admitted it was a tough pill to swallow and explained the strategy that his team was hoping to employ.

“I just went a bit wide into Turn 8. I knew I was going to hit the kerb, but I wasn’t expecting the sausage kerb to have such a violent response,” Russell said.

“Next thing, I’m in the air. When I landed, I lost the rear and I was in the wall. It all happened really quite suddenly.

“I did [assume it was over], to be honest. I was surprised that we managed to continue. I was very close to pulling up… it’s a difficult pill to swallow. But that’s how the sport should be. One small mistake and you should be punished for it.”

Russell discussed how his team wanted him to race as if he was further up the grid and the car was set up in that manner given he was starting fourth on the grid after qualifying.

“I need to look into it with the team but I’m pretty sure it was just because I was in so much traffic,” he said.

“We weren’t planning to be and the brakes weren’t in the right spot for that.

“It was all quite sudden when it was too late. I think the thing with brakes, once you go over a certain oxidation threshold, there’s no recovering.

“It doesn’t matter how much you nurse them. They’re just on a rate you can’t recover.”

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