Russell: Leclerc was borderline with “questionable” British GP defending

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Russell expressed his thoughts on Leclerc’s defending during the British Grand Prix, acknowledging that it was questionable at times. He closely followed Leclerc for 18 laps but couldn’t overtake him until Leclerc made an early pit stop. Russell had a slower mid-race pit stop himself and found himself behind Leclerc again after a long first stint on soft tires.

The two drivers engaged in a brief but impressive battle before Russell managed to pass Leclerc and secure a fifth-place finish. Russell felt confident on his tires during the initial stint and believed he could have extended it further if there was clear air. Despite Leclerc’s questionable defending, Russell believed it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of his race as he would have likely pitted earlier if he had overtaken him.

When asked to elaborate on Leclerc’s defending, Russell mentioned a specific incident at Turn 16 where Leclerc aggressively moved across the braking zone as Russell attempted to overtake him. Russell believed this move was against the rules and although Leclerc received a warning, Russell found it frustrating considering it was his only overtaking opportunity.

Regarding pursuing the matter further, Russell stated that he didn’t think it was necessary. He found Leclerc’s defending to be on the borderline and planned to review the video before making any further judgments. Russell admitted he wasn’t overly concerned about it at the moment.

Russell also discussed his expectations for the race, mentioning that he had anticipated a straightforward battle with the McLarens for second and third positions. However, he was surprised by how well Norris and Piastri performed on their tire strategy. Russell believed that the medium/hard tire combination was the wrong choice for him and felt that the soft tire was the best option. He acknowledged that the McLarens were slightly faster, and the tire choices played a significant role in their performance.

Furthermore, Russell took responsibility for the delay in his pit stop, acknowledging that he lost about a second and a bit due to his own mistake. He pushed too hard on the entry, causing the tires to lock up, which made the situation difficult for the team. However, he noted that this delay didn’t affect the outcome of his race.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about British GP defending

Q: What did George Russell say about Charles Leclerc’s defending during the British GP?

A: George Russell mentioned that Leclerc’s defending was questionable at points during the race, particularly during a braking maneuver at Turn 16. He felt that Leclerc’s aggressive move was not allowed by the rules and found it frustrating to receive only a warning for it.

Q: Did George Russell plan to pursue the matter further in the drivers’ briefing?

A: No, George Russell stated that he did not feel the need to pursue the matter further in the next drivers’ briefing. He considered Leclerc’s defending to be borderline and mentioned that he would review the incident again before making any further judgments.

Q: How did George Russell evaluate his own race strategy and tire choices?

A: George Russell admitted that his strategy with the medium/hard tires was not optimal. He believed that the soft tire was the best option and that the McLarens made the right choice by switching to hards. He acknowledged that the McLarens were slightly faster, with a gap of about one and a half to two-tenths of a second.

Q: What was the cause of the delay in George Russell’s pit stop?

A: The delay in George Russell’s pit stop was caused by his own mistake. He attacked the entry too aggressively, resulting in locked-up tires. This made the situation challenging for the team, but Russell mentioned that the delay did not have any significant impact on the outcome of his race.

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