Russell: I don’t know what Romain was thinking

Marina Bay, Singapore

Singapore Grand Prix – Williams’ George Russell made it clear he felt Romain Grosjean was fully to blame for the clash that eliminated him at Marina Bay.

George Russell retired from the race in Singapore on Sunday, the first DNF of his Formula 1 career and the first for a Williams driver in 2019.

Russell’s race didn’t go particularly well right from the off – his front wing was damaged in a first corner clash with the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo and this forced him to pit at the end of Lap 1. Running the Hard tyre from there, Russell made it to Lap 34 before a clash while defending against the Haas of Romain Grosjean resulted in the Williams being turned into the wall. The crash resulted in Russell being knocked out of the race, while Grosjean was able to continue and finish P11 at the flag.

“He said that I didn’t leave him any room, but I’ve see the video and I clearly did.” Russell told media after the race. “He said sorry but not exactly admitting it was his fault. He’s obviously not going to say it was his fault. But it was my corner, I had the inside line at the apex and on the exit so it was his to give up, and he didn’t. He had his right to lunge it down the outside, at the apex we were next to each other, just after the apex I was half a car’s length ahead.”

“The fact my rear left touched his front right proves that it was my corner, he should have conceded the corner. I don’t know what he was thinking, but it’s not the first time something’s happened like that with Romain.”

Having said over team radio that he ‘shouldn’t be surprised’ by Grosjean’s actions, Russell told Sky Sports F1 that Grosjean deserved to have had his race ruined by the clash as well:  “Ultimately his actions ended my race but they should have ended his race as well. I don’t think I’d be doing anything different. It was in his hands to realise it wasn’t malicious, just common racing sense.”

“It was a rubbish race from the start; I got sandwiched at the first corner with Robert and Daniel (Ricciardo), which was just one of those things. What looked like a fairly decent weekend ended up as a missed opportunity.”

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Thomas Maher

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