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George Russell finishes in third place in the Canadian Grand Prix





George Russell took his first podium and pole position of the season last weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Despite this, Russell was 'disappointed' at his relative success as he had a genuine chance at winning the race and his own errors cost the victory.

It was a positive weekend from the outset for the driver from Tydd St Giles as he was in the top three in two of the practice sessions in a display of pace which had previously been lacking from the Mercedes outfit.

George Russell after finishing in pole position on Saturday. Photo: LAT Images
George Russell after finishing in pole position on Saturday. Photo: LAT Images

Russell was on form from the beginning of qualifying as his opening lap sent him to the top of the timesheets with two fastest 'purple' sectors.

He breezed through the first two stages of qualifying and ended the second session in first place meaning that he was firmly in the running for pole position.

Russell's first run in the final stage on old tyres sent him to the top of the standings with a time of 1.12.000 which he could not improve upon on his second run.

Despite this, Russell secured pole position by the slimmest of margins as reigning world champion set the same lap time but as the Mercedes driver set it first he took top spot - something which has only occurred once before in Formula One history.

Before the race, the rain cascaded down onto the Montreal circuit meaning Russell had to start on the intermediate tyres however he still got a strong getaway and finished lap one in the lead.

In the first 20 laps, Russell began to establish a lead however he struggled to keep his intermediate tyres in the operating window and as such came under pressure from Verstappen and McLaren's Lando Norris.

Norris then passed Russell but a misjudgment on the part of the Mercedes driver meant he went off the track and had to let Verstappen through meaning he lost two positions in the space of a straight.

Undeterred, Russell dived into the pits when the safety car was deployed and returned to the race in second place.

On lap 46, he switched to the hard tyre which benefitted Russell as he was soon setting a string of fastest laps and once again caught Norris for second place.

However, Russell brushed the wall and once again lost position to his fellow Briton and was back to third.

There was then another safety car period under which Russell made another pit stop for the medium tyre which dropped him to fourth.

This gave him a burst of added pace and he attempted to overtake the other McLaren of Oscar Piastri however it was a case of deja vu as he once again misjudged the final chicane and went off into the run-off area losing two positions in the process.

Russell was then determined to regain his podium position and overtook Piastri and then in the final laps overtook his team-mate Lewis Hamilton for third place.

After the race, Russell said, "I’m disappointed with myself today. I made too many errors that set us back and cost us a chance of victory. I was really pushing the limits out there. That said, it feels great to be disappointed with P3.

"We’ve made small steps over the past few races and to come to Canada, get pole position and a podium is really encouraging. We’ve been one of the fastest cars on track all weekend, so we’ve definitely made progress.

"There are many positives to take away from here. The conditions were incredibly challenging out there. Put a wheel even one millimetre off line and you would be in trouble. Unfortunately, the errors I made came with consequences as it let other cars pass.

"Other drivers made errors too, but they didn’t come at the same cost. We were still able to battle back to the podium though with the pace we had. We will continue to work hard, develop the car, and I’m looking forward to heading to Barcelona."

The 2024 Formula One season continues for the Spanish Grand Prix on June 21-23 - a race at which Russell has had two podiums previously.




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