Mercedes reveal remarkable Russell response after ‘ugly few seconds’ at Australian GP

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Mercedes has delivered insight into how George Russell responded to his late-race crash at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend.

Russell crashed on the penultimate lap while chasing Aston Maritn’s Fernando Alonso for sixth place at the Albert Park Circuit.

The Briton hit the barrier at Turn 6 and was spat back onto the racing line with the car hoisted on its side by one of his detached tyres.

Russell immediately issued a frantic call over the team radio for a red flag amid fears that he would be hit by a rival.

Speaking in Mercedes’ latest F1 Debrief video, Technical Director James Allison explained Russell’s emotions after the collision.

“Everyone who was watching the race will have heard George’s frantic radio calls calling for a red flag,” Allison said.

“What George was feeling was incredibly vulnerable. He knew he was in the middle of the track.

“He knew he was in a very fast part of the track with corners that may have unsighted anyone approaching him and he was sort of positioned in such a way as he couldn’t see any of the oncoming stuff, but he knew there were hurtling cars headed his way.

“An incredibly vulnerable position to be in and that was the distress you heard from him, that vulnerability.”

Allison hails Russell bounce-back

Yellow flags were immediately deployed following the collision before the Virtual Safety Car neutralised the race.

“What he couldn’t know was how swiftly race control reacted to it, how swiftly the yellow flags came out, how quickly it went to a virtual safety car and actually I think a very good response from the whole marshalling system to make sure that he was protected in what was a very vulnerable position.

“He could not know that. All he knew was he was sat there horribly exposed and wanted to let people know that in no uncertain terms.”

Russell returned to the Mercedes factory straight away to complete simulator work following his terminal crash, drawing praise from Allison.

“However, racing car drivers are racing car drivers, they are nothing if not brilliant at putting past and scary things in the past behind them and pushing on.

“He was completely back to his normal self within minutes of that happening. In the race debrief afterwards, you would not have known what had just happened.

“He was in the factory on Monday working on the simulator. It was an ugly few seconds but not something that will be keeping him awake at night.”

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