George Russell admits he was responsible for colliding with Max Verstappen at the Las Vegas GP. The British driver was frustrated with the incident, as he felt a second podium of 2023 was otherwise possible.
Mercedes enjoyed a relatively uninspiring weekend in Vegas, losing ground to Ferrari in the constructor’s standings. Were it not for Carlos Sainz receiving an extremely unlucky grid penalty, the Italian outfit might have jumped the Silver Arrows in the standings.
However, the German squad weren’t without their own issues in the final US weekend of the season. Qualifying was relatively uninspiring, with Lewis Hamilton being eliminated in Q2.
Russell still managed to put himself on the second row of the grid, although the deficit to Ferrari was significant.
In the race, Las Vegas proved to be a battle of attrition. The high-speed nature of the speed circuit, combined with low temperatures and minimal grip, saw several drivers caught out.
Russell takes the blame
Amidst this environment, George Russell believes he could have finished in the top three without his contact with Verstappen:
“The incident with Max was totally my fault – I didn’t see him. [He was] totally in my blind spot around Turn 11,” he told Sky Sports.
“I wasn’t really expecting the overtake there because you’ve got the big long straight with DRS afterwards.
“We were on course for an easy podium; it was pretty straightforward. I recovered to P4, but the five seconds knocked us down to P8.”
For much of this year’s campaign, Russell has been left wondering what could have been. His unfortunate retirement in Australia was perhaps an omen of his fortunes for the remainder of 2023.
After an impressive debut season alongside Lewis Hamilton, the deficit between the two Mercedes drivers in the standings is overwhelmingly in the 7-time Champion’s favour.
Looking ahead to next season, Russell will be hopeful of securing more consistent results.