George Russell seeks Mercedes apology after ‘worst decision ever made’ with Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver George Russell has called for an elaborate discussion with the Silver Arrows hierarchy after a poor decision on their part saw him miss out on what could have been a very positive outing at the Japanese grand Prix.

A pit-lane mishap with teammate Lewis Hamilton drastically altered Russell’s final position in a race that he had started rather well and looked set to challenge for a top-five finish.

Wet and blistery conditions made for a frantic start to the race as drivers began to make their way to the pits for intermediate tyres as the track began to dry out.

Having qualified in eighth position on Saturday, Russell’s good work in the race was undone by an ill-judged pit-lane incident. 

Mercedes had decided to call both drivers in for a pit stop and Russell was forced to wait for Hamilton to get his tyres fitted.

When he finally left the pit, he had lost out on eight positions and was in P14 having initially gained two spots earlier in the race.

Why was Russell so frustrated?

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Credit:
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Credit:

The youngster’s anger was apparent in his team radio exchange and he called Mercedes’ strategy ‘the worst decision ever made’.

“We need to review what went on,” said Russell.

“I was right behind Lewis and double stacking, I was just going to lose all the positions. There’s not really much more to say, very frustrating afternoon. I probably could have fought for P5.

“It was quite enjoyable out there, I made some good overtakes but we need to sit down with the team and see what we could have done better. That was probably, at the time, not the right thing to do.”

Max Verstappen seals second title

Max Verstappen. Credit:

The highlight of the race was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen sealing his second title in consecutive years following the drama-packed 2021 season battle with Hamilton.

It wasn’t the typical type of race he may have anticipated, as only 29 of the 53 scheduled laps were completed, but full points for granted based on the final position.

With five Grand Prix remaining, Verstappen in now mathematically clear of all drivers.

Meanwhile, a frustrated Russell called for improvements in the way the race was conducted as spray made it difficult for him and other drivers to drive safely. 

Read more: Mercedes’ in-house blunder scrutinised after early decision to ‘exploit’ FIA’s technical loophole backfired

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