Russell left in a jam as his bid for glory at Silverstone ends in pits
PUBLISHED: 10:02 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:02 11 July 2018
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A jammed wheel gun foiled George Russell’s attempts to win his home Feature FIA Formula Two race at Silverstone.
But a combination of second place, pole position, and fastest lap stretched his series lead – which grew even bigger on Sunday with another second-place finish.
“Gutted to lose the win in the pits today,” said King’s Lynn-born Russell. “My team have been fantastic all year so I have no complaints.”
The Mercedes AMG Formula 1 reserve driver had dominated qualifying on the fast sweeps of Silverstone, claiming a hat-trick of pole positions with ease.
“It feels great,” admitted Russell, on starting from pole once more. “I will not be getting carried away as it’s a long race.”
Poetic words as Russell was to find out after pitting from the lead on the sixth lap to take his pit stop when equipment failure, during the mandatory tyre swap, saw rival Alexander Albon head out of the pits in front. To make matters worse Russell attracted a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
However, he pulled sufficient gap to third-placed Antonio Fuoco to negate the punishment and in the closing stages dropped back from the leader to push hard to take the extra points on offer for the fastest lap, which he succeeded in claiming.
“I’m disappointed not to win at my home race, the pace was definitely there to do it, but congrats to Alex and DAMS, they did a great job. We have had a really good couple of weeks so far and it takes a bit of pressure off,” added Russell who had a 33-point advantage over Lando Norris, who struggled home in 10th after stalling during his pit stop.
Starting seventh in Sunday’s shorter race Russell quickly carved his way past those ahead but Maximilian Gunther, who had started on pole position having finished in eighth place on Saturday, proved just out of reach.
“I wanted to put on a little bit of a show for yesterday’s loss of the victory,” grinned Russell who enjoyed the wheel to wheel battles and was only half a second behind the winner.
After a difficult race on Saturday Norris also stormed through the field to completed the podium which leaves him 37 points behind the local racer as the series heads to Budapest next.