George Russell said missing out on what he felt should have been a first Formula 1 points finish in the Tuscan Grand Prix was “heartbreaking”.

Mugello delivered a thrilling, incident-filled race on F1’s first ever competitive visit to Tuscany and Russell looked to be in a strong position to capitalise on the chaos and score Williams’ first points haul of the 2020 season.

The Briton sat in ninth place after the second and final red flag period triggered by Lance Stroll’s massive shunt, but a poor getaway at the restart cost Russell multiple positions.

Russell ultimately fought back to 11th but was unable to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to claim the final point on offer.

"It is heartbreaking almost," Russell said. "The whole team had worked so hard, got ourselves in an amazing position P9, and it was well and truly under control and sealed.

"The car was feeling great. I was matching the pace of Sebastian and Charles behind me on the same life tyre. And that red flag just threw it all away really.

"We made a really poor start just off the line. We don't know why yet because procedural wise everything was spot on.

"Then having Kimi [Raikkonen] and [Romain] Grosjean, they obviously had an extra lap to warm the tyres up and they both made mega, mega launches, which didn't help things.

"Nevertheless, just bitterly disappointing because we deserved it and it should have been ours. Two red flags in one race is ridiculous."

Russell conceded he had no explanation for why he suffered a poor launch, having practiced the start and clutch drop procedure “100” times without encountering an issue.

“I don’t really know what happened,” he added. “Everything seemed to be on target with the procedures.

“The other starts were okay, nothing special, but that last one with soft tyres I just went into wheelspin and got hit by Kimi and then you can’t do anything from there. I drove my heart out.

"I sat in the garage 10 minutes before practising my starts for 10 minutes, and I must have done a total of 100 clutch drops over the course of those two hours. And every time I was within 2-3% of the target, which is normally not an issue at all.

"So we just need to look into it and see what went wrong because to be fair, all of our launches were bad today."

 

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