George Russell apologises to Mercedes after ‘terrible’ qualifying

F1 preview: A lap at the Mexican Grand Prix

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George Russell apologised to his Mercedes team after ruining his chances of securing pole position. The Mercedes star ran wide on his final lap in Q3 despite setting the fastest sector time in the second sector. 

The mistake allowed Max Verstappen to cruise to pole position unchallenged with Russell quick enough for second. Russell screamed in frustration over the radio after his car just ran wide on the exit of turn 12. 

The former WIlliams star said: “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” However, Russell’s first lap was sill good enough to beat his seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton by 0.005 seconds. 

Hamilton also hundred his chance t pole after running wide at turn three on his first lap in Q3. This saw his lap deleted by race officials and pit extreme pressure on the Mercedes star’s final run. 

After the chequered flag, Russell claimed he could have secured his second pole of the season without the error. He said: “The team deserved more today. They’ve produced a really great car this weekend and it’s testament for them for the work they’ve been doing for so long. 

I feel like it was our pole to have but it was just a terrible lap from my side. But it’s great to be back on the front row. I’ll be going for it at the start tomorrow for sure. Let’s see what’s possible.”

In the media pen, Russell confirmed he had suffered two issues on his final run which had prevented him a shot at toppling Verstappen. Sharing more details about his run, Russell added: “In Q3, my last lap, I went around the first three corners and the car felt great. 

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“I had this thought like you know what this is going to be the lap and I lost the car in the next corner. So I was bitterly disappointed. I lost two-tenths in one corner, I then gained it all back again and I was till one and a half tenths up before I locked up in sector three. 

“It was just a chaotic seventy seconds.” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted Russell could have secured pole but admitted the team were still “not good enough” to beat the Red Bull’s.

When asked if Russell was on course for P1, Wolff added: “I don’t know, we were equal before turn 12 but they were really good in the stadium before so we probably wouldn’t have made it anyway.”

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