Mercedes Reveals Russell's Potential Finishing Position At Silverstone Without DNF

Thursday, 11 July 2024 at 18:00
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Trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin shared Mercedes's estimate for George Russell's potential finishing position at the 2024 British Grand Prix.
Mercedes F1 driver George Russell scored a victory during the race prior to his home Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit and wanted to ideally repeat the success in Great Britain.
However, his race ended much earlier than he would have liked. On lap 33/52, he was told to retire his W15. As the 26-year-old admitted after the race, this was a "gutting" moment.
The British driver later explained there was a problem with a water pump but didn't know or could share more details. Speaking in the post-race debrief video, Andrew Shovling explained the issue was so critical that there was no way Russell would be able to finish the Grand Prix.

"So we knew that we were never going to finish the race. What you don't want to do is finish the race and destroy the power unit, then you'll be looking at a penalty possibly later in the year."

"So it was preventative, but there was no way that we were going to get to the chequered flag."

What was even more disappointing about the car retirement was that Russell might have had the pace to potentially finish on the podium.
Though we won't know for sure what position the Mercedes driver would have finished in, Shovlin also tried to answer this question.

"With a race like that, with the changing conditions, it's quite hard to say this is where we would have finished."

“If it had been a dry race start to finish, looking at how George got off the line, how he was able to build a gap, I think he would have had a pretty straightforward afternoon.

As we know, the 2024 British Grand Prix wasn't a dry race from the start to the finish line, and when Russell was told to retire the car, he was running in P4 behind Max Verstappen (who finished P2), Lewis Hamilton (who went on to win), and Lando Norris (who finished P3).

"But if you take the point where we actually decided to retire the car, we were on intermediates, George was in P4, he was closing in on Max, so that was looking good."

"And to get him on the podium, he would have probably had to overtake Max at that point realistically because we called the stop lap correct with Lewis when we went to dry tires."

"So I think earlier it might have been a bit too damp. So, as I said, minimum of P4, but there would have been a shot at it if he could have passed Max on track on the Inter."