Russell apologises to Sainz for race-ending crash 

George Russell has apologised to Carlos Sainz for causing a first-lap collision that forced his F1 rival to retire from the United States Grand Prix. 
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 leads at the start of the race as Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari F1-75 is hit out
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 leads at the start of the race…

Sainz retired with a water leak after Mercedes driver Russell ploughed into the side of the pole-sitter’s Ferrari having failed to slow down at Turn 1, sending him spinning to the back. 

Russell, who went on to finish fifth in Austin after picking up a five-second time penalty for the incident, took full blame for ruining Sainz’s race.  

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"Firstly, apologies to him," Russell said. "We're all going into Turn 1 attacking, you never want to be involved in contributing to taking somebody else's race out.

"I was expecting him to try to go around the outside of Max rather than cut back, and by that point I'd already committed and it was kind of inevitable that I was going to make contact.

"I just went to see him and apologised for that.

"From there on it was a really difficult afternoon for me personally. I've been really off the pace this weekend. I know there was some damage, but I don't know how much damage there was exactly to the car.

"It will give me a bit of peace of mind if it's more than we first anticipated, because I was nowhere this afternoon.”

Russell remains fourth in the F1 2022 drivers’ standings, 20 points clear of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton

Sainz: Russell came from nowhere 

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari F1-75 is hit by George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W13 at the start of the race. Formula 1
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari F1-75 is hit by George Russell (GBR)…

Sainz had slipped behind the fast-starting Red Bull of Max Verstappen and was looking to fight back exiting Turn 1 when he was hit by Russell. 

Speaking to the media immediately after his retirement while the race was ongoing, and before Russell had apologised, Sainz said: "I think you don't need many words. You just need the images to see exactly what happened, and the images speak for themselves.

"I was in the middle of a fight with Max into Turn 1 and suddenly one guy that wasn't in the battle came from nowhere and bumped into me, so that's it.”

The Spaniard claimed his Ferrari has an “inherent problem” after making his latest poor start. 

"I think it is a combination of things," he added. "Our start hasn't been great because we have an inherent problem in this car.

"My start [today] wasn't too bad when you compare it to the Mercs, it was Max who got a really good one."

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