Russell apologizes to Sainz, but says “contact was inevitable”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell has apologized to Carlos Sainz for their contact at the Unites States Grand Prix, but adds “contact was inevitable”.

In the opening lap of the United States Grand Prix, George Russell made contact with Carlos Sainz, which led to the Spaniard retiring from the race.

George received a five-second penalty for “causing a collision”, and later apologized to Carlos.

“Firstly apologies to Carlos, I’ve already been to see him,” the Briton said.

“When I was attacking into Turn 1 and I saw he was on the outside of Max [Verstappen] I was expecting him to try to hold it around the outside of him, and as soon as I recognised he was trying to cut back underneath Max, I had already committed to my braking zone, and contact was inevitable.

“But as a driver you need to be aware of those possibilities of the cars ahead. If he was holding it around the outside of Max for sure I would’ve been fine, as I was battling with Lewis, not with those cars ahead.

“As soon as you slow it down as a driver and try to cut underneath, it was difficult. As I said, I hold my hands up to that. There is not a lot more to say than that.”

George then conceded it was one of the worst races of 2022 for him.

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“Initially we didn’t think there was much damage, but I’ve got to say it was probably the worst Sunday of my year today.

“I was sort of nowhere with regards to the pace. I am hoping that when we look at the car there might be a bit more damage than we first expected.

“But as soon as I recognised I was out of striking distance of Checo [Perez] and Charles [Leclerc] it was a matter of bringing the car home, because we were struggling to keep it on the black stuff today.

“It was a bit all over the place, the balance was inconsistent through the stint, and through the lap,” he added.

“It was tricky conditions out there today. The only strange thing from the race was that my middle stint was relatively competitive when I was tucked up behind Checo and Charles.

“I was right on the back of them within DRS range for a number of laps, so that was the odd one out. The first stint and last stint I was nowhere,” Russell concluded.

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