George Russell: “In every incident it involves two people”

© Sam Bloxham for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

George Russell says “nothing was intentional from either side” in his collision with Lewis Hamilton, but he ‘definitely appreciates’ Lewis apologising.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were involved in an unfortunate collision on Lap 1 of the Qatar Grand Prix, that caused Lewis to DNF and demoted George to the back of the grid.

Immediately after the race, George was asked about the incident by Sky Sports F1.

“We both had the possibility of standing on the podium,” the Briton said.

“Obviously nothing intentional both ways. These cars are so difficult to see when you are racing – there’s big blind spots.

“We both have so much respect for one another. We will go past this and I’m sure we will speak and everything will be OK.”

George said the team had spoken ahead of the race about the possibility of Lewis having a fast start, because he was starting on soft tyres, while George was on mediums.

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“We spoke about it. From our side, I said this morning, I just want us both to be standing on that podium. My goal now is to try and get P2 [in the Constructors’ Championship] for the team.

“We spoke about Lewis getting ahead at Turn 1. It was just a very difficult situation. Lots of positives to take away.

“It was by far the most physical race I have ever competed in. It was insane how hot it was. Like I was inside an oven. That was a big challenge.”

A bit later, while making statements in the media pen, George expanded on the internal discussions Mercedes had ahead of the race.

“It is frustrating because it was a big missed opportunity for us, we’ve got one goal and that’s to finish P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.

“We had a lot of discussions this morning about how we’re going to work together, the fight was not with each other and with Ferrari.

“Fortunately we still came away with more points than them this weekend, but Lewis and I have huge respect for each other. Nothing was intentional from either side.”

Lewis has since apologized to George and the team for the collision, as he says it was “100%” his fault. The young Briton, however, says both of them had a hand in the collision.

“I definitely appreciate him apologising, as I said on the radio: ‘In every incident it involves two people.’

“I was gutted because of the result for the team, the Drivers’ Championship has been a complete disaster.

“We’ve had one goal which was to finish P2 in the Constructors’ Championship and we lost a big opportunity, but I still have full faith that we can achieve it.

“We still have positivity because the car was quick, we had a really strong race, we have a few updates coming for the last races of the season,” Russell concluded.

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