The Mercedes driver was running third and hunting down McLaren’s Lando Norris and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on the final lap when he clipped the wall at Turn 10 and slammed into the barriers. 

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It was a heartbreaking end to what had been a brilliant weekend for Russell, having outpaced teammate Lewis Hamilton and challenged for victory throughout Sunday’s race. 

“No words to be honest,” Russell reflected to Sky after the race. 

“Such a long race, a physical race. Difficult to keep concentration. Carlos was doing a great job backing the pack up and not allowing us to do the alternate strategy. 

“I think we were half a car’s length from winning the race had I got past Lando when I had the opportunity, I think we would have been able to get past Carlos.

“The last lap, just a millimetre lapse in concentration and it was game over. I’m just so sorry to the whole team.”

The Briton added: “It was a really challenging race. The tyres were dropping off and you are pushing the limits. 

“That’s how racing should be - you make a small mistake and you pay for it.

“It’s just heartbreaking after such a great weekend. The car felt great, qualifying was great, the race was great and we were bold with the strategy. 

“I feel like I’ve let myself and the team down. Racing… It’s tough, but what we like.” 

Sky F1 pundit Karun Chandhok said Russell will “feel the pain” of his mistake for a while.

“I’ve known George since he was 14 years old and I can tell you, he’s very hard on himself and he’ll feel the pain of that for a little while,” he said. 

“The good news for him is that we go to Japan next week and it’s a chance for him to clean the slate and start again. 

“But that’s a bittersweet pill for him to swallow.”