Hamilton looked to overtake his teammate on the run to Q1 after Russell was driving slowly out of the final corner.

The seven-time world champion was forced onto the grass, picking up front wing damage in the process.

Did Mercedes' Upgrades in Monaco ACTUALLY Work?

“George just backed off,” Hamilton said over team radio after the incident. “That’s really dangerous. I might have some damage on the car.”

Russell told Mercedes: “You didn’t tell me there was a car behind. I’m sorry guys.”

Speaking to Sky after qualifying, Russell put it down to a miscommunication.

"Yeah pretty much [a miscommunication],” he said. “I wasn’t even aware he was there. I was starting my lap, trying to take the slipstream from Sainz and fortunate that nothing bad happened.”

It was ultimately a disastrous day for Russell, who was knocked out in Q2.

Explaining what went wrong in Barcelona, he said: "Everything to be honest. I am not too sure why. Straight out of the box in run one, I just had no grip from the tyres, really struggling. 

“The car started to bounce a lot in the high-speed corners so I couldn’t take corners flat-out when I was doing so this morning. A really odd session. Not surprised to be out in Q2 because the car was totally off the pace. I didn’t have a good feeling with it. Disappointing for sure.”

Russell wasn’t sure overnight setup changes were to blame for his lack of performance.

“We did change some things but nothing we would have expected to have such a substantial effect,” he added. “Maybe one thing I can contribute towards the lack of performance. It was tricky for everyone out there. 

“There were cars struggling left, right and centre but we shouldn’t be in this position. It’s a bit of a shame.”