“That Was the First Time”: George Russell Reveals the One “Tricky” Max Verstappen Moment That Remains Fresh in His Memories

Published 11/25/2022, 6:11 AM EST

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via Reuters

Mercedes had a horrific 2022 season, at least as per their dominant standards. Despite that, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell powered through all the porpoising struggles to make some memorable moments. In a season review sit-down, the two Britons walk through some of the Mercedes’ 2022 campaign memories.

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One of the moments that George Russell picked up when Mercedes thought they were back on track was the Spanish GP. Russell was engaged in a battle for the lead with Max Verstappen in Barcelona. It was surreal and unexpected for the Brackley team, as they had been half a second slower until then compared to Red Bull and Ferrari.

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Russell said, “I remember this race [Spain] with Max [Verstappen] battling. That was my first time fighting for the lead of the race. That was a tricky race. Out there trying to defend from him. That was a cool feeling to be in the lead of that race. It felt like the first time that year where we are kind of back on track.”

George might have been nervous defending the lead from the reigning world champion. Eventually, he had to settle for P3 in the Spanish GP, while Verstappen took the win, with Sergio Perez in 2nd.

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After this race, Mercedes might have hoped that they will be back on pace with Ferrari and Red Bull. Although they had to struggle through further races in Azerbaijan and Canada, before recovering their pace.

Mercedes’ 2022 season review with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton

Besides the good moments, Russell and Hamilton touched upon several points of the season when they had a torrid time. Starting with the pre-season test in Bahrain, where they discovered porpoising on the W13 for the first time. They thought they might have a rocket ship car down the straights, but it rather turned out to be a bouncing car.

And then came an unexpected podium and a 3-4 finish at the first race in Bahrain. No one expected the Silver Arrows to get to the podium, given they were so far off the pace. Though the Red Bull cars retired towards the end of the race and Voila! A podium for Hamilton.

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via Reuters

They recalled their horrific bouncing trips down the Baku straights during the Azerbaijan GP. Moving on, Russell also pointed out that both of them crashed in Q3 in Austria, while going for pole position.

Coming to some good moments, Lewis Hamilton was in the shout for a win at Silverstone before a late safety car. Meanwhile, Russell reminisced about putting his car in pole position in Hungary. Though these were one-off instances, the Silver Arrows steadily gained good pace and won in Brazil, securing a 1-2 finish.

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Watch This Story: George Russell congratulated by all drivers after his first-ever F1 win in Brazil

The W13 might have disappointed them on a performance level, but it was reliable until the last race in Abu Dhabi. What can Russell and Hamilton achieve with their 2023 car next season?

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Written by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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Aishwary Gaonkar is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his postgrad, he has set out to venture into the world of Sports Journalism. He is an ardent fan of F1 and has been following the most prestigious form of motor racing for over a decade now.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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