‘Horribly exposed’ George Russell was ‘incredibly vulnerable’ in late crash

George Russell was left "horribly exposed" and feeling "incredibly vulnerable" in his late crash in Australia.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix,
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1…

Mercedes say George Russell was feeling “incredibly vulnerable” after being left “horribly exposed” in his dramatic late crash at the F1 Australian Grand Prix.

Russell lost control of his car at Turn 6 and slammed into the barriers on the penultimate lap of the Melbourne race in his pursuit of sixth-placed Fernando Alonso, whose driving was later punished for being “potentially dangerous”.

The shunt left Russell’s car on its side in the middle of the track at one of the fastest corners of the Albert Park track, prompting the Mercedes driver to frantically plead for a red flag.

“Red, red, red flag,” Russell desperately called over his team radio.  “I’m in the middle of the track! Red flag, red flag.

“Red, red, red, red, red, red. I’m in the middle. Red. F***ing hell.”

Race control ultimately managed the scary-looking incident with a Virtual Safety Car, which the race finished under.

“Everyone who was watching the race will have heard George's frantic radio calls calling for a red flag. What George was feeling was incredibly vulnerable,” Mercedes technical director James Allison said on the team’s latest debrief video.

"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. 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.”

Allison revealed Russell quickly moved on the crash which compounded a double DNF at the end of a miserable weekend for Mercedes.

“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,” Allison added.

“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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