Russell gutted by P6 qualifying result for his home Grand Prix

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George Russell was less than impressed with his result in this afternoon’s closely contested qualifying for the British Grand Prix, with the home hero only managing a time good enough for P6 on the grid.

George Russell on track at Silverstone at the 2023 British Grand Prix
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A hectic, rain affected qualifying session at Silverstone made for nail biting viewing as the unpredictable conditions left many struggling to maximise their pace. George Russell of Mercedes wowed the fans towards the end of Q3 only for him to fall down the order as the final times were set.

“It’s kind of gutting…”

Speaking after the session, Russell admitted he was disappointed by his result due to the closeness of the field. He took the time however to congratulate fellow countryman Lando Norris and his teammate Oscar Piastri for their stellar result for McLaren.

“Well, half a tenth would have been P3.” Russell said after the session. “So it’s kind of gutting when I see it like that. Seven milliseconds to Carlos [Sainz], twelve to Charles [Leclerc], and then fifty milliseconds to Oscar [Piastri]. But yeah really well done to Lando and Oscar, great result for them.”

“We thought we were probably third and fourth quickest…”

Despite his disappointment, Russell was quick to look ahead at tomorrow, noting the long run pace of his Mercedes which should see the team with a competitive race package for the Grand Prix, believing that Mercedes have the pace to be third and fourth quickest during the Grand Prix.

“We’re not in a bad place. We know we have a fast race car. Our long run place looked really strong yesterday, we thought we were probably third and fourth quickest, Lewis [Hamilton] and I on the long run and seventeenth and eighteenth in the quali spec. So we made some good gains overnight and it’s good to be that close to the second row.”

“We didn’t change the car at all…”

When quizzed on how Mercedes had managed to improve the qualifying pace so much since practice yesterday, Russell admits it was difficult to understand and puts their gain down to tyre performance rather than setup changes made to the car.

He went on to note his excitement for his home grand prix tomorrow as well as once again commenting on the pace gain made by rivals McLaren who will start ahead of Mercedes tomorrow.

“It wasn’t that clear.” He admits. “I mean it was clearly all in the tyres because we didn’t change the car at all from qualifying spec to race spec, yet we go from one of the slowest to one of the quickest. So, you know, these things are very difficult to handle, to get on top of.

“It’ll be interesting against the McLaren’s because Lando [Norris] was really quick last week in Austria and seemingly they made some good gains. Nevertheless, happy to be here, home race and I’m pumped for tomorrow.”