George Russell has fully admitted his fault in the collision with Max Verstappen during the Las Vegas F1 stage, revealing that he did not see the rival in the mirrors before the contact. After this race, the second place of the “Mercedes” team in the Constructors’ Cup is in danger.
Verstappen was trying to regain lost positions when there was a minor collision with Russell at Turn 12 on lap 26. The Red Bull pilot’s front fender was damaged, but he managed to fight his way to victory. The “Mercedes” driver received a five-second penalty, finished fourth, but was dropped to eighth place in the results.
“The race went smoothly until I collided with Max,” says Russell. “I just didn’t see him in the blind spot. I didn’t expect him to overtake me there. In fact, I didn’t even fight him because Max wasn’t my direct competition in this race. We were just trying to keep the tires alive. Once again, a comfortable podium was thrown into the garbage.”
He continues: “The only thing that was damaged in the incident was the wheel disc liner, which affected the cooling, so the tire failed faster. If it wasn’t for the safety car, we would have continued on to the podium. I don’t know what to say, I’m disappointed both for this race and for the season in general.”
Since Charles Leclair finished second, and Carlos Sainz – sixth, in the stage before the end of the season, the “Ferrari” team approached the second-placed “Mercedes” in the Constructors’ Cup by only four points.
“This season has been really disappointing and depressing,” admits Russell. “Now going into Abu Dhabi, there are only a few points between us and Ferrari.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted: “This race reflects our season as a whole. Although we have a fast car that can compete for the podium. George’s situation with Max was just unfortunate.”