Brawn tells Russell F1 is not listening to “opinion of anyone at the back of the grid”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn answers George Russell’s criticism of the sprint race concept and says “the opinions we listen to are the guys who are really competitive”.

After the hard Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying for Mercedes, George Russell complained that he and Lewis Hamilton were stuck in a ‘DRS’ train and called the race “processional”.

Ross Brawn was quick to dismiss Russell’s criticism.

“Whenever a driver has had a bad car, they have complained about the race,” Brawn said.

“So I think George’s opinion, or the opinion of anyone at the back of the grid, are not the opinions we are really listening to.

“The opinions we listen to are the guys who are really competitive, racing in the middle and racing at the front.

“They are in a very unfortunate position but I don’t think their position at the back of the grid reflects the true position of racing.”

Brawn went on to say he was pleased with how the sprint race turned out.

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“As we all know, racing drivers are racing drivers so any thoughts they were going to take it easy for the race, I don’t think was the case.

“We were fortunate the tyres were perfect for the sprint race because they started to degrade and of course in a normal race, you would have had the drivers going in the pits, changing the tyres and it would all come down to strategy.

“We had one shot at the race. The drivers had to make the tyres last and I think interestingly, it has given Ferrari a good insight [for the Sunday’s race] so I think they will be stronger with what they have learnt.

“So we are very pleased with the sprint race, great entertainment, lots of racing going on, plenty of overtaking, we have demonstrated the cars can follow.

“I know you may say it was DRS but you can’t use DRS unless you get onto the back of another car. Overall, it was a great success,” the Briton concluded.

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