Russell Speaks Out After Terrifying Experience In Australia: 'I Was Really Quite Worried'

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 at 19:30
russell george mercedes sambloxham
George Russell reflected on how he felt during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix when he crashed and found himself in a perilous position.
The Mercedes F1 driver George Russell crashed on the final lap of the third race of the season as he battled with Fernando Alonso, who strategically braked earlier into the corner.
Russell didn't expect the Spaniard to brake so early and panicked. He also received "dirty air" from the Aston Martin in front as he came close to it, which unsettled his car. The Mercedes driver lost his rear in turn number six and had to countersteer into the runoff area.
However, he carried in too much speed and couldn't avoid colliding with the wall at the end of the runoff area, which sent his car sliding back onto the track but right behind turn six.
Russell found himself in the car, turned sideways in the middle of the track behind a blind corner that drivers take at very high speeds, and he instantly knew he was in danger.
What followed was pretty terrifying to watch as the 25-year-old desperately called for a red flag (which would mean that all drivers must slow down at once and return to the pitlane) on his team radio.
The red flag didn't come, and it took a couple of seconds before the stewards started waving even yellow flags, but fortunately, everything was okay in the end, as there were no cars right behind Russell at that time. He told the media afterward:

"I'm ok. It was not a pleasant place to be, in the middle of a high-speed corner, on the racing line, and with the VSC (virtual safety car) taking 10 or 15 seconds to come out."

"It doesn't sound like a lot but you can have three cars coming around the corner in the space of 10 seconds. When you are doing 250 [kph] in a corner and there is a car in the middle of the road... I was really quite worried."

Fernando Alonso later received a 20-second penalty for the incident with Russell, which lost him two positions in the final results of the season's third race at Albert Park Circuit.