George Russell says his spin under the Safety Car was a result of “going over the limit” as he squandered a chance of scoring his maiden F1 points at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Russell had been running just outside of the points until the late Safety Car period which was deployed due to Max Verstappen suffering a rear tyre failure.

The Williams driver was promoted to tenth but spun on the run to the first Acque Minerali right-hander, hitting the barrier in the process.

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Russell’s latest retirement means he’s still yet to score a point since making his F1 debut at the start of 2019.

“I don’t really know what to say. I was working as hard as I could to keep the tyres working.”

“I was pushing the tyres throughout the race. It’s probably the most on the limit I’ve ever been throughout the whole of the race. I think it was really showing and we were in such a good position. Obviously, I went over the limit.

“As soon as I lost the car it was already too late and I was in the wall. Really sorry for the team and unacceptable from my side.”

Without the spin, Russell would have been under serious threat from Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who had stopped for fresh soft tyres - explaining why the Mercedes junior was so keen to ensure his hard tyres were up to temperature.

“I was accelerating, I was changing gear at the same time, just with cold tyres. This sometimes happens with cold tyres. It was my job to try and work them as hard as I can to try and keep Kimi and Sebastian behind me who had the new, hot fresh tyres.

“But no excuses. I’ll go away and learn from this and try to come back stronger next time.”