VIDEO: George Russell’s Sakhir GP ends in Heartbreak After Late Puncture

Published 12/06/2020, 2:09 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – December 5, 2020 Mercedes’ George Russell celebrates after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu


The Sakhir Grand Prix offered one of the best races in Formula 1. However, the same can’t be said from the perspective of George Russell. The young Briton was leading the pack for quite some time.

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However, in a sudden turn of events, a late puncture sent him hurtling down the order into P14. In the end, he limited his pain by seeing the chequered flag in P9.

It all started with the massive pit-stop mishap by Mercedes. The terrible mistake ended up throwing more miseries toward both the drivers. Unfortunately, Russell endured the brunt of it.

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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Although he got past his teammate, the only obstruction in his path to the race win was Sergio Perez. He was unsurprisingly catching up on the Mexican pretty fast. It looked like he could be within the DRS range in 2 laps.

However, Russell suffered an untimely puncture, forcing him to drive through the pit-lane for a painful 4th time in the race.

Following the pit-stop, the Mercedes driver joined the track in P14. Hence, from there, it was more of a damage-limitation drive for Russell. He found his way back up into the Top-10, successfully recording his first F1 points. However, he could not help but wonder what could have been.

What happened during the pit stop for George Russell?

Mercedes called Russell and Bottas into the pits for a set of Medium tires, just to be on the safer side. However, Mercedes’ precautionary move ended up hurting their drivers more than they could have imagined.

The Silver Arrows are usually impressive with double-stack pit-stops. Unfortunately, this time, it did not go their way, as their crew mixed up the tires and fit the wrong tires on Russell’s car. Hence, they had to bring in the one-off Mercedes driver yet again in the following lap.

Meanwhile, for Bottas, it was a different version of misery. Unlike Russell, he didn’t have to go around the circuit again. Instead, he was stranded in the box for quite some time as the crew went hunting for the right set of tires.

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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell celebrates after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

Russell landed behind a huge train of cars. And Bottas, too, was a part of it. Eventually, as the cars got up to full speed, Russell made an incredible move on the Finn to claim P4.

Eventually, he jumped the Renault and the Racing Point, and as he had the race win right in front of him, his tires gave up. Now, Russell ended up in a scenario where he couldn’t even cherish the moment of scoring his first points in Formula 1.

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Will Russell get a second chance in Abu Dhabi that could spell sweet redemption for him? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

770 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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