George Russell says things “could have been much worse” if he did not have the halo on his Williams Formula 1 car after striking Antonio Giovinazzi’s loose wheel during Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Russell got caught up in Giovinazzi’s crash at the exit of Fanges on Lap 10 when the latter lost control of his Alfa Romeo on his own, which spun into the barriers and scattered debris back across the track.

The oncoming Russell was forced to take evasive action as Giovinazzi’s car spun back onto the circuit but was hit by a loose wheel that had flown off the Italian’s car.

Giovinazzi’s errant wheel struck Russell’s front-left wheel, causing the Briton to crash into the barriers on the left-hand side of the track in an accident which brought out the Safety Car.

“Feeling unlucky and lucky right now,” Russell said on Twitter.

“Gutted as we were having a great race – but really glad we have the halo on these cars now or it could have been much worse.”

After returning to the paddock, Russell told reporters: "If I went to the right, that's where Antonio's car was, and at the left side of the track, I had a massive impact with the tyre.

"But I have to say you feel much safer in the car now with the halo.

"When I saw this massive tyre coming towards me, it was quite scary to be honest.So I'm very thankful that we have this halo on the car right now.

"I'm all fine. Just a little bit frustrated obviously. But that's racing sometimes."

Giovinazzi conceded there was little he could have done to avoid the accident after getting caught out by a snap of oversteer as he exited the Fagnes chicane.

“Unfortunately I had a snap of oversteer on the exit, nothing I could do," Giovinazzi explained.

"I'm just sorry for my team after what happened today. But I have to reset my mind right now for Italy.

"I feel really sorry for [Russell], as I destroyed his race as well. Really unfortunate what happened to him. I'm just sorry."

 

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