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Austria GP 2024 Russell Powers Mercedes to Victory

Russell’s Redemption: Clinches Win Amidst Past Woes

01/07/2024

At the Austria GP 2024, George Russell surged to victory, showcasing a stellar performance that propelled Mercedes to the forefront of the racing action.

George Russell turns disappointment into jubilation with a win, overshadowing his Montreal setback.

George Russell probably didn’t expect to win the second Grand Prix of his career this Sunday in Austria, but he became the first beneficiary of the clash between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, securing a win and delivering Mercedes F1 its first triumph of the season.

It was, in any case, a relief for the British driver, who noted he still had regrets about not clinching victory in Canada a few weeks ago.

“It’s really great to be honest. Over the last three races, the team has really improved. I think we missed out on victory in Montreal. And this time, we deserved third place and we won. It’s interesting to see how this sport evolves, and I want to congratulate the entire team for the hard work they have put in. We’ve made huge progress since the beginning of the year.”

“I tried to focus on optimizing my driving rather than on what was happening between Max and Lando. Marcus, my engineer, told me three laps earlier that they were fighting hard and that we could win. And I said, ‘Listen, let’s secure third place first, let me drive.’ I knew Oscar was fast behind me. And when I took the lead, I knew the last six laps would be tough as my tires were in a tricky state.”

“The VSC slightly helped because my tires were overheating. And it allowed them to cool down. Yes, it’s a bit strange to win a race like this, that’s for sure. But as I said, that’s racing. Sometimes, things go against you and I feel like we probably missed one or two opportunities for victories. There was Montreal, and Singapore last year too, things could have gone very differently, and this time they worked in our favor. That’s just how things go.”

“We still have the third fastest car”

A winner in GP3, F2, and now Formula 1 at the Spielberg circuit, Russell affirms it’s a track that suits him.

“Yes, it’s a track I enjoy. The last two years have been very challenging for us as a team. We didn’t have high expectations before this weekend. But we ended up qualifying in third place on Saturday. And we were competitive. And as I said, we fought for the podium. I think realistically, we still have the third fastest car behind Red Bull and McLaren. But over the last three races, Lewis and I have occupied the third spot. So, you know, we are really making the most of it. And sometimes, in racing, things turn out well.”

If the outcome was the best possible for the Mercedes F1 driver, his start to the race evidently wasn’t the simplest, as he mentioned over his radio.

“There was a lot of wind, and the car was behaving a bit oddly. During my grid formation laps, we checked everything and all was well. Lewis attacked at the start of the race, but I managed to stay ahead of him and pull away from Carlos. I knew Oscar would be quick, and he came out of nowhere towards the end of the race on the hard tires. For me, it was quite challenging. Then suddenly, Toto yelled in my ear: ‘You can win.’ And I nearly crashed when he screamed in my ears. It was so loud. But I think it shows the passion we all share. And it’s clear we’ve had two tough years. It’s great to be back on top.”

With a different strategy from his rivals, Russell doesn’t think he had an advantage over Piastri at the end of the race, as he was on hard tires against Piastri’s mediums.

“I don’t think it helped at all, to be honest. I think we shared strategies with Lewis just to try something. You never know how the race will unfold. And the VSCs, the safety cars, play an important role. That VSC at the end was very handy for me. It allowed me to cool down my tires and improve my pace compared to Oscar. The last five laps were the same when he was on mediums. So, you know, the car is really performing well. We know we still have some work to do if we want to consistently fight for the podium. But if you look at the progress we’ve made compared to Ferrari and Aston Martin, it’s huge since Bahrain.”

Mercedes F1 is rewarded for its “hard work”

The British driver also highlights Mercedes F1’s very good operational weekend, considering it the best of the season so far.

“Yes, without a doubt. I think we really executed everything well. I think we maximized each session, qualifying as high as possible. The race starts were good. Fourth place in the Sprint race was the maximum. You know, the team has done an excellent job. So, it’s nice to receive a reward for all this hard work.”

George Russell does not hide that doubling up at home in Silverstone next weekend is now on his mind.

“You always have to dare to dream. Anything can happen. I think Red Bull was very quick this weekend in the high-speed corners. So, they will be very strong next week at Silverstone. But we have a few days until then. I’ll be on the simulator on Tuesday, back at the factory. So, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Logically, with a race to run in a few days, the 26-year-old driver will not linger in Austria to celebrate this victory.

“I’m flying back with Fernando. I hope he hasn’t already left me here because I’ve been very busy with the media this Sunday. But for my first victory, I took a 15-hour flight from Sao Paulo to Dubai. I still want to celebrate this victory because these moments can’t be taken for granted. I think I still have a lot to do and many victories to come, but in an era of total domination by one team and one driver, any victory won by another driver must be appreciated. But it won’t be as tough as Lando’s celebration. If it’s 50% as tough as Lando’s celebration, it will be a pretty impressive evening.”

Austria GP 2024 Russell Powers Mercedes to Victory

Austria GP 2024: Russell Powers Mercedes to Victory. Austria GP 2024: Russell Powers Mercedes to Victory

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