Furious George Russell suffers BRDC Formula 4 title blow after big crash
06:30 25 September 2014
For the second time this year George Russell has been the victim of a rash move by his main BRDC Formula 4 title rival and subsequently has lost his season long lead in the championship.
“We’ll have to really take the fight to everyone in the final round at Snetterton now,” said the ‘devastated’ Wisbech racer.
Russell’s assailant, South African Raoul Hyman, was penalised with his second 10-place grid penalty of the year for contact with the local racer, which he has appealed.
The incident occurred in the third and final race at Donington Park which the 16-year-old Russell started from pole position having set the fastest race lap during the previous two events. Russell had Lanan Racing team-mate Arjun Maini alongside on the grid for the third race who made the better start but by the end of the opening lap Maini was back in fifth place.
Hyman was right behind leader Russell and on the third lap approaching the Old Hairpin tried to grab the lead with disastrous results for the series leader.
“He got my slipstream down the Craner Curves and into the Old Hairpin I went defensive,” explained a furious Russell.
“I left three-quarters of a car width on the inside and Raoul obviously thought that was enough to fit a whole car into. His front-left smashed into my right-rear and destroyed my race. It’s ridiculous and I’m absolutely devastated.”
With the third and fourth placed drivers also colliding, fifth-placed Maini was left in the lead of the race which he turned into victory and a 21-point lead over Russell.
The weekend had started brightly for the Wisbech racer who claimed a front row starting slot after qualifying but lost second place to Struan Moore at the opening corner before quickly reclaiming the position to chase after leader Sennan Felding.
“I didn’t make the best of starts and I dropped down to third,” said Russell. “I managed to get past Struan again going into the Old Hairpin but by that stage Sennan had already built a gap. I was slowly catching him but there just weren’t enough laps left. I was going for fastest lap which could put us in a good position for race three. We managed to get that so I’m pleased.”
With the top eight places reversed for race two Russell started seventh and renewed his earlier battle with Fielding, finishing in sixth place, while rival Hyman took victory prior to the third and final fateful event.
“Sennan actually got in front of me on the first lap,” said Russell. “I got squeezed onto the grass when I tried overtaking.
“It did a bit of damage to the car. We were on older tyres to save our good ones for race three, so considering the problems I was happy with maintaining position.”
The final round takes place at the end of October on Russell’s home track of Snetterton and with 95 points on offer the destination of the title is far from settled.