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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Russell reckons he had tempo to threaten Verstappen in F1 Qatar GP

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Russell began the 57-lap run round Losail Circuit from second place however a superior launch for team-mate Hamilton, who lined up third on tender tyres, introduced the pair collectively into the primary nook. 

Hamilton tried to maneuver spherical the skin however clipped Russell, who was despatched spinning. He then pitted earlier than battling his means again to fourth place in an intensely humid encounter. 

With out the crash, which eradicated Hamilton on the spot, Russell reckoned he may have chased Purple Bull’s three-time world champion Verstappen for victory given his sturdy race tempo. 

“I see no cause why not,” mentioned the Briton when requested if he may need threatened Verstappen. 

“We imagine that we have been on tempo [as fast as], if not quicker, than McLaren [who scored a double podium with Oscar Piastri ahead of Lando Norris].  

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“Seeing that Piastri completed so near Max was actually fairly stunning.” 

Verstappen finally claimed the win by 4.8 seconds, though this hole was considerably artificially constrained by the FIA and Pirelli capping stints at 18 laps after figuring out microscopic tears within the tyre sidewalls owing to the brand new raised kerb edges on the circuit. 

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, the rest of the sphere as George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, recovers after a crash with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, within the background

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Purple Bull boss Christian Horner reckoned Verstappen “went previous an optimum technique” to make sure he had flexibility together with his tyre selection ought to a late security automobile have come into play. 

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Common lap tempo signifies McLaren was quickest on the day, adopted by Verstappen after which Russell, with the Mercedes driver’s 10 finest lap instances a mean of 0.531s slower than Verstappen. 

Russell additionally welcomed an apology from Hamilton, who took “100%” of the accountability after reviewing the Flip 1 crash. However he nonetheless rated 2023 as a “full catastrophe” for his championship efforts. 

“I used to be gutted due to the outcomes for a crew,” mentioned Russell. “This 12 months, the drivers’ championship has simply been a whole catastrophe for me.  

“I’ve bought one objective, and that is to complete P2 within the groups’ championship. It was, in fact, an enormous alternative. However I nonetheless have full religion we’ll obtain it.  

“So, I stand right here now with positivity as a result of the automobile was fast and [we had] a extremely sturdy race.” 

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