Norfolk star George Russell shrugs off setback to clinch maiden Formula Two success
- Credit: Zak Mauger
George Russell bounced back from the heartache of losing his first FIA Formula Two victory by driving past most of his rivals to secure his maiden victory in the second race at the Baku Circuit in Azerbaijan.
Mercedes AMG F1 Junior Russell was well in command of the first event, only for a safety car interlude to bunch the field up behind the local racer from which Nyck de Vries launched an over-opportunistic move at the restart which delayed both and saw the Norfolk racer trail home in 12th place.
'Gutted,' responded Russell.
'We did everything right today and were robbed of the win. Proud of my team, proud of the pitstop, proud of our incredible pace!
'We'll be back.'
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And so it proved in Sunday's second race which saw Russell start from 12th place and carve his way towards the front of the field in majestic style, finally securing victory with a pass on leader Sergio Sette Camara.
'I had the worst night's sleep of the year last night just thinking about what happened, and if there was anything I could have done differently. I was really disappointed that we threw away a win,' admitted Russell in the post race press conference.
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'I was easily fastest yesterday, so I knew that today, even starting from P12, we could win the race and that's exactly what we did.
'I'm incredibly happy, delighted to get that win and have something to show for it rather than ifs and buts.'
Meanwhile, damp and drizzly weather greeted Dereham's Dan Zelos as qualifying for round two of the Renault Clio UK Cup got underway at Donington Park – conditions which clearly didn't suit the Evergreen Tyres-supported driver.
Zelos started race one from seventh place, which he improved by one place before the safety car was deployed for a period of three laps.
When racing resumed the local racer fought over the position with Zak Fulk with the pair tangling late on, dropping Zelos down to a disappointing 12th-place finish.
Zelos started race two from 15th on the grid and slipped back to 17th on the opening lap after a spin before recovering, having picked off the drivers ahead of him one by one, to finish in 12th place once more.