George Russell will line up his Mercedes in eighth place for the Canadian Grand Prix, with the British driver suspecting a higher grid place went begging after he made an error in the final part of qualifying.
Having been one of the stars throughout Q1 and Q2, Russell opted to take a gamble on running the slick tyres on the increasingly dry track in Q3.
However, the circuit was still quite wet through the opening sequence of corners and, running wide through Turn 2, Russell lost the rear of his W13 and spun off into the barriers.
While the damage wasn’t terminal, it was enough to prevent him from doing another run to conclude his qualifying with the best track conditions available.
Speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com, after the session, Russell said he had no regrets over taking the gamble on the dry tyres.
“I want to fight for pole position,” the Briton explained.
“I’m not here to settle for P3 or P4. I think we had a good car today.
“I saw the dry line appearing, and it only takes one corner to let you down. For me, that was Turns 1 and 2.
“Last year at Sochi, I was one of three drivers to go from Inters to Slicks, and I qualified P3 for Williams, so high risk, high reward can pay off. It didn’t pay off today, but the race is tomorrow.”
Russell reveals thinking behind gamble
Russell explained that part of his reasoning for making the switch was seeing just how quickly the conditions changed at the Monaco Grand Prix in May.
“I was surprised in Monaco how quickly it transitioned,” he said.
surprised on other occasions by how quickly it transitioned. It just
takes half a dry line and everything changes.
“I think half
the track was totally dry. Another quarter of the track, there was a
small dry line. Then the last quarter, with Turns 1 and 2, it was just
on its way.
“It just takes one corner. We’re here to fight for more, and
we’ve got the pace to come back tomorrow.”
Having persevered on the Soft tyre after doing his outlap in the tricky conditions, Russell admitted that, had he pitted straight away to switch back to Intermediates once again, he likely would have managed a higher grid slot.
“In hindsight, I probably should have pitted after the
outlap back to Inters,” he admitted.
“That would have given me one lap at the end to go
for it and probably get up to P4 but you’ve got to go for it sometimes.
“I’m glad I went for it because it could have paid off. P8 isn’t the end of the world. I probably would have regretted it more having qualified P3 or P4 but not trying, to be honest.”