'I Was Looking At Steering Wheel': Russell Details Incident With Alonso

Thursday, 04 April 2024 at 16:30
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George Russell discussed in depth the incident with Fernando Alonso that took place during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
Mercedes F1 driver George Russell suffered a serious accident during the final lap of the third round of the 2024 season at the Albert Park Circuit.
The 25-year-old was closely trailing Fernando Alonso on Aston Martin and was clearly faster but was struggling to overtake the Spanish Matador.
The incident between the two was very strange because there was no contact between cars, but Russell ended up crashing his car either way.
It all happened because Alonso braked into a turn much earlier than usual, which resulted in two things. First, it gave Russell a "dirty air" and unsettled his car.
Second, it caught Russell off guard, and before he could properly react, he lost his rear and had to countersteer into the gravel area and barrier.
The Spaniard defended himself, saying that changing racing lines and sacrificing corner entry by breaking earlier to have a better exit are standard practices and part of motorsport.
Approached with a similar point during the press conference ahead of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, Russell told the media:

"Every driver is open to change their line, brake earlier, power through the corner, do whatever."

"When we start braking in the middle of a straight, downshifting, accelerating, upshifting again, then braking again for a corner, I think that goes beyond the realms of adjusting your line."

Russell admitted he was looking at his wheel right before the incident happened, which meant he was very surprised when he suddenly got so close to the Aston Martin in front.

"And as I said, I was actually looking at my steering wheel in that straight as I've done every single lap prior."

"And when I looked up a hundred meters before the corner, I realized I was right behind Fernando rather than the half a second that I was. You know, we've got so many duties to take care of when we're driving."

Looking at the steering wheel seems like very strange reasoning from Russell, but he explained how many things he needs to be looking at as he added:

"You know, looking, going around the racetrack, changing all of the settings on the steering wheel, making sure you're in the right engine mode, taking care of the tires, talking to your engineer, managing the deltas on your steering wheel when it's an in-lap, out-lap, safety car, whatever it may be."