Attempting to pass Russell into Turn 12, a crucial turn that begins the lengthy flat-out stretch along the Strip, Verstappen was passed by the Mercedes driver, who went on to win the race. Russell says he didn’t anticipate Verstappen to attempt a move there, and both cars suffered minor damage; he was penalized 5 seconds for initiating the incident.
Because Russell “totally didn’t see him in, in the blind spot,” he was unprepared for the overtaking. I wasn’t even trying to fight him; we were both aware that Max was not of our race. The only thing we had to do was protect the tires from dying, and we lost a comfortable podium position again.
“…It’s quite disheartening and irritating. We are currently just a few points behind Ferrari as we enter Abu Dhabi.
The wheel cover was the sole damaged part; having that additional layer of protection from the elements would have likely improved the graining. We would have proceeded to the podium if the safety car hadn’t been there. To be honest, I’m at a loss for words. I am utterly irritated about [the race] and this entire season. Yeah, it seems like I’m always having problems.
George Russell claims that there were moments when his pace was on level with Charles Leclerc’s, but that he was unable to display it because of the conditions, and that Mercedes has experienced more misfortune since its car is not as competitive as the company would like.
Luck seems to be on his side while the automobile is fast, but he warned that when it is slow, time seems to stand still. The final result is that the speed isn’t fast enough. Being too slow has caused some of these problems. There isn’t much else to say, actually.
It seemed like Charles was moving at a breakneck pace out there. Impressively, he extended quite a bit while managing the tires fairly well on the medium stint. However, I experienced a rather competitive ride on the hard tire. We were all held up behind Alex for what seemed like an eternity. We were aware of their fast straight-line speed, and passing them proved to be quite challenging.