Russell is ‘scratching his head’ over how to approach Las Vegas GP

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

George Russell says at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, “the team that comes out on top will be the team that manages to keep [the tyres] alive”.

While Lewis Hamilton managed to qualify better than P11 for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, his team-mate George Russell snatched a much better P4.

Due to Carlos Sainz’s ten-pace grid penalty, both drivers have been promoted by one place, so Lewis will start the race from P10 and George from P3.

After qualifying, George admitted he has no clue on how things will turn out in the race.

“It came down to confidence,” the Briton told Sky Sports F1.

“I felt good in the car. In the qualy runs we knew Ferrari were a step ahead of everybody else. We ended up P4, close to P3 with Max, was definitely the maximum.

“Going into tomorrow, it’s a total unknown. These tyres are just not working around this circuit in race conditions.

“They are totally falling apart because they are so cold. They are not designed to work in these cold conditions.

“The team that comes out on top will be the team that manages to keep them alive. If you’re able to keep it within a threshold, it’s an easy one-stop.

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“As soon as you go above that threshold it’s unrecoverable. And you might need to do two or three stops. Right now, we’re all scratching our heads.

“How are we going to approach the race? We haven’t run the hard tyre yet. Maybe the hard tyre here is just much better than the medium and you won’t be entering the graining.

“You have to push the tyre to find out, but if you push it and go over the limit, you’re pretty doomed! Right now, it’s a strange one. I really don’t know how to approach the race.”

Asked about his hopes for the race, George said:

“I just want a clean race, to be honest. It’s been the scrappiest season of my life. Every clean weekend I’ve had, it’s been when the car is slow.

“When the car is quick, it’s when everything was up in the air – whether mistakes on my side, or unfortunate strategy, or DNFs.

“We have to keep an eye on Ferrari, they are only 20 points behind us. They should be on for a one-two, Charles is definitely the favourite.

“It’s damaged limitation but, if there’s opportunity, we’ll go for it,” Russell concluded.

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