Russell: 'Stupid mistake' in Emilia Romagna GP 'just gutting'

George Russell was gutted to miss out on a golden opportunity to score his first points in F1... The post Russell: 'Stupid mistake' in Emilia Romagna GP 'just gutting' appeared first on F1i.com.

Russell: 'Stupid mistake' in Emilia Romagna GP 'just gutting'

George Russell was gutted to miss out on a golden opportunity to score his first points in F1 in Sunday's Emilia Romagna GP, the Williams charger crashing out of the race during a late Safety Car period.

Russell had enjoyed a drama-free opening stint on the medium tyre before pitting for a set of hard rubber on lap 11.

A solid effort had allowed the Briton to haul himself into the top-ten when Max Verstappen's Red Bull suffered a tyre failure on lap 50 while running second, an incident that triggered the deployment of the Safety Car.

Russell lined up directly behind the latter but in an effort to warm up his tyres, the Williams driver overdid it and speared off to the left into the barriers, his afternoon said and done.

"I don't know what to say," the gutted 22-year-old told his team over the radio before exiting his car and sitting for a moment in the shade, pondering his blunder and what may have been.

"I’ll never forget this day, this mistake," he later wrote on Instagram. "I’ll learn from it, be stronger for it. I’m so sorry, to the whole team. No excuses."

Upon his return to the paddock, Russell was asked what he had to do to secure that elusive first point.

"I don't know, I mean, not make stupid mistakes like I did today," he replied.

"It was a race that I was pushing as hard as I could from lap one until then, the most aggressive I've ever been.

"And I wanted to continue that under the safety car because I knew that with the guys behind me on the hot new tyres, myself on the old tyres, if I had any chance of getting a point, I needed to be super aggressive.

"And obviously, as soon as I lost the car, I was already in the wall, and it's just gutting. Obviously really sorry to all the guys."

Despite the costly setback, Russell highlighted that his performance in the race up until his demise had been achieved on merit.

"I mean, the positives are we were in that position on merit," he said. "I managed to jump Ocon and pulled away from him.

"In the early phase of the race, I was at the same pace as the McLarens ahead of me. The car was alive this weekend, and it was really, really fast.

"It will come I think we're understanding it better and better, week-in, week-out.

"My first laps have been poor, and I made probably quite a bold, aggressive move on Sebastian [Vettel] in the first corner, which is something we've been wanting to work on.

"And like I say, I feel like maybe sometimes I've been a bit too conservative in the races. And I definitely found the limit today."

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Ricciardo celebrates after 'bizarre' second podium of 2020

Just three weeks after securing his breakthrough maiden podium with Renault at the Nurburgring, Daniel Ricciardo was celebrating... The post Ricciardo celebrates after 'bizarre' second podium of 2020 appeared first on F1i.com.

Ricciardo celebrates after 'bizarre' second podium of 2020

Just three weeks after securing his breakthrough maiden podium with Renault at the Nurburgring, Daniel Ricciardo was celebrating a second top three finish this weekend in Imola after a 'bizarre' end to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Ricciardo had been running in the top six with 14 laps to go when Max Verstappen spun out with a right rear tyre failure, triggering a safety car.

While many of the cars around him dived into pit lane for fresh tyres, Ricciardo decided to tough it out with what he had. It meant the Australian was promoted to third place for the restart, which he held on to all the way to the finish.

"Two podiums in three races! It all just happened very quickly at the end there, that was good fun.

"It was a bizarre one. I got into fourth off the start and I felt that was obviously the best we could do with the three in front," he said, referring to Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas ahead.

"But then [Racing Point's Sergio] Perez had really good pace," he continued. "He passed us through the pit sequence.

"I’m not sure what happened to Max but obviously that put us in the fight," he added. "[Perez] pitted for the softs at the end with the safety car, we obviously kept track position.

“I was honestly surprised to see him box," Ricciardo admitted of Perez' decision. "He was quicker than us today and that is the truth.

"If he'd stayed out with the same car, same tyres he should've held on to third," he acknowledged, "Very surprised he boxed."

Perez himself admitted that it had been the wrong call: "We basically gave the podium to Ricciardo," he said later. "It's a painful day."

As for his own decision to stay out on older tyres, Ricciardo said it had seemed like the right and obvious call at the time. “The team asked how my tyres were and I said I was happy, I think that was enough for them to keep me out.

"I was more happy to go out swinging, and if Perez had come through and passed me then [fourth] is what we would have been anyway."

In the end, the threat to Ricciardo's looming podium came from AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat who was flying through the field on fresh rubber. "Kvyat came out of nowhere the last few laps, but that was fun!"

Ricciardo was able to hold on to the position all the way to the finish. Despite team mate Esteban Ocon retiring on lap 27 with a clutch issue, it means Renault has now moved up to third place in the constructors' championship by one point ahead of Racing Point and McLaren.

However, team principal Cyril Abiteboul had been quick to tell his driver that there would be no second tattoo as a result of their pre-season wager about Ricciardo snatching a podium in 2020.

“Before he said congratulations he said, ‘Don’t even think about getting me two tattoos, it’s just going to be one!”

Famous for celebrating his podiums by drinking champagne from his race shoe, Ricciardo forgot the tradition at the end of the Eifel GP but followed through with his promise to all his Australian fans to do it this time.

“I think they will be dancing because I didn’t forget the shoey this time,” he told Sky Sports F1. But he admitted that he had been shocked when race winner Lewis Hamilton joined in.

“I was about to drink a beautiful, fresh shoey and I heard Lewis [Hamilton] say ‘take your other shoe off’," he said.

“I was like ‘No’, because three years ago on the podium he goes: ‘I will never ever do that. I will never drink it. You can offer but I’ll never do it’.

“But he asked for it today and that took me by surprise. 2020 is the year of the strange, though, so it was good fun.”

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