George Russell and Sergio Perez, photo by Social Media
George Russell in Mercedes Formula 1 car had a great chance of finishing on the podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Perhaps the Briton could even win the race in Bahrain. But after 65 laps it was clear that those dreams would not come true. What went wrong and is it the big defeat as it looks?
George Russell in Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton’s car before the Sakhir Grand Prix:
Monday after Lewis Hamilton tested positive for Covid 19, Mercedes Formula 1 car 44 started looking for a new driver for a weekend.
As it should be, Stoffel Vandoorne had come to Bahrain as a reserved driver to get into desired car, but Formula One luck had other plans for the number 44.
Moments later Mercedes announced that Lewis Hamilton’s car would receive 63 number and went to get win with George Russell to cutting the Sakhir’ night lights
George Russell in Mercedes Formula 1 car
What about George Russell?
Filled the positive mood in the champion’s car, Russell had two fastest times in free practice on Friday and Saturday.
Even qualifying in Sakhir filled the positive and also the power for George. Although he get second position after Valtteri Bottas, the difference between two Mercedes cars was 0.026 seconds, looks nothing. Journalists said Briton was pretty calm and not nervous before the race.
George Russell in Mercedes Formula 1 car on the grid.
The start of Mercedes number 63 was so clear that even Bottas got nervous.
There were no signs of trouble, more than half of the race George Russell in Mercedes Formula 1 car had made the maximum from winning car.He was trying his best: he used the advantages out of nowhere to drive away from Valtteri Bottas. It was a pure success that did not last long til 61 th. lap.
Sakhir Grand Prix
What went wrong at the Sakhir Grand Prix?
By a stroke of fate, Jack Aitken replaced George in the Williams F1 car.
By a fate Jack spun in the last corner after hitting the guardrail, the car lost its front wing – it stayed on the track. Mercedes F1 Team decided to make a double pit stop for both drivers while a safety car was on the track. If Russell in Mercedes car was serviced fast enough, Bottas’s pit stop lasted 27 seconds.
George Russell and tires, photo by official social media
Tyre mix-up bungle in Bahrain.
It was clear that something had gone wrong, to the point where it was impossible to find the right set of tires.
Valtteri Bottas needed to back for the old tires and returned to the track in fifth place. After a few seconds George Russell’s Mercedes was called back to the pits to get the right tires. The Mercedes team later received a fine of 20,000 euros for the tyre mix-up bungle.
Mercedes F1 fine
The crash of dreams.
Lap 78: The engineer informed Russell of a puncture on the rear left wheel and he changed the tires again and returned to the track in 14th position.
George Russell continued to drive at top speed, the next goal was to finish in the top ten. Before the last lap Briton beat Pierre Gasly and crossed the line as tenth on lap 86.
George Russell after the Sakhir race
Had the mission failed?
George Russell was so desolate that it looked like a big defeat, but was it?
Looking back at the first half of the race, we will see that George was faster. Valtteri Bottas had the same Mercedes car, the same tires, but was unable to close the gap. Although the gap was 0.001 seconds, Russell found that time to break through from lap to lap and take the two-second lead. If someone says that this race is a big defeat for George Russell, then it is better to say that it was a defeat for Mercedes F1 Team, not for George. But in Bahrain he proved to the whole racing world the stress resistance and professional driving skills those open new career doors, perhaps in Mercedes Formula 1 car.