Russell: This wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for Hamilton: I honestly can’t say how screwed up I am

George Russell, photo Georgi Todorov/LAP

George Russell finished in second place today Grand Prix of the Netherlands. The Mercedes driver decided to make an extra stop for soft tires during the safety car. In the end, the move proved to be the right one after the Briton handled his team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion stayed on the track on medium tires and lost positions to Verstappen, Russell and Leclerc.

Although Russell was hoping to battle it out with Verstappen, he enjoyed his sixth podium since the start of this year’s campaign.

“First, I want to thank the audience. We like to be close during the race,” shared Russell. The Mercedes driver was most likely referring to the moment he almost crashed into Hamilton on the start-finish straight.

“As a team today we showed incredible pace. This was not the result we were hoping for. On the other hand, he will give us a lot of confidence going forward. It’s incredible to see three different teams on the podium. I feel like we’re getting closer and closer to the top rung of the ladder of honour,” Russell added.

Russell’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after Mercedes decided to keep him on track with used medium hard tyres. The Brit was instructed to watch out for Verstappen. Immediately after the restart of the race in the Netherlands, Hamilton was “swallowed” by Max Verstappen. The situation between the two world champions was very similar to that of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton did not fail to express his anger on the radio.

“I can’t believe you screwed me over. I honestly can’t tell you how screwed I am. It really was the biggest blunder that happened this year.”

After the race, Hamilton thanked the mechanics for the job done.

“To all the mechanics – you did a fantastic job today. These were the best pit stops all year, so thank you for your continued efforts. Let’s keep pushing, after all, we won valuable points today,” said Hamilton.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff defended the actions of the German team during the race at Zandvoort.

“In the morning we were thinking about taking a risk and fighting for the race win?” Yes, sometimes we take risks. He had medium tires that were 5 laps in. Holding the position was the right thing to do. In the end, it didn’t work out so well for him. “Honestly, I’d rather win the race than finish second and third,” Wolff said.

“First of all, Lewis was ahead. So he has no problem with the call. We could either take Lewis out and lose track position to Verstappen, put George Russell out of the game, or be flipped. We could have left both cars on the track. Then we’d be really screwed,” Wolff continued. “I just told Lewis there are a lot more positives to take. Second and fourth place is not a very nice upset, but on the other hand we had a good race pace.”

Hamilton sounded really angry on the radio as he was overtaken by his rivals. In this regard, Wolf emphasized that the pilots experience really great emotions in the cockpit.

“First and foremost, we are the dustbin for the pilots. They are highly emotional. I understand this because at one point you have a chance to win and at another you lose a few positions. Every emotion comes out. After all, you’re not in the cockpit and you don’t see everything that happens on the track,” concluded Toto Wolff.

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