Hungarian pole-sitter Russell left with ‘combined feelings’ after P3 end, as he reveals sympathy for Leclerc

After taking his maiden pole place in Formula 1 on Saturday, George Russell was pressured to settle for third place in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. And the Mercedes driver admitted to feeling “combined feelings” after lacking out on his first win in F1, claiming that he and his staff had achieved all the pieces proper.

Russell began the race on the gentle tire and made a quick getaway, staying forward of the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc for the primary stint. However, after switching to the medium tire, he couldn’t fend off the quicker Leclerc for lengthy.

After stopping for one other set of medium tires, Russell was undercut by eventual winner Max Verstappen. And whereas he was in a position to overtake Leclerc, he was powerless to defend from his staff mate Lewis Hamilton – forcing him to settle for a second consecutive third-place end.

READ MORE: Hamilton says Mercedes have ‘potential to win’ after ‘fairly epic’ drive to second in Hungary

“Definitely combined feelings however extremely difficult circumstances on the market. We had rain drizzling all through your complete race at totally different factors,” mentioned Russell. “And after I was on the grid when it was drizzling and we had been on the gentle tires, I believed this was nice as a result of everybody round me was on the mediums!

“It was a bit difficult firstly and we pulled a giant hole to the vehicles round, and I believed it was nice. Unfortunately, the rain sort of slowly stopped, the medium runners caught us up and we needed to react and pit fairly early, which was the precise determination.”

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix: Pole-sitter Russell battles to remain forward initially in Hungary

He added: “But then it actually put us on the again foot, that final stint when the rain got here once more on the very outdated medium tires, the observe was getting cooler, the rain was there. It was not possible to defend towards Lewis and actually difficult to carry off Carlos on the brand-new softs. But as a staff we did all the pieces for the precise causes, it was only a disgrace how issues panned out.”

READ MORE: ‘It was a catastrophe’ – Leclerc ‘very upset’ with P6 end in Budapest as he singles out what value him victory probability

After a troublesome begin to the season, Mercedes have appeared to be again in type in latest races, scoring double podiums on the final two Grands Prix in France and Hungary. And whereas Russell says his staff is making progress, he believes they need to perceive why they’re missing velocity in comparison with Verstappen and Leclerc.

“I do assume Charles and Max do nonetheless have the higher hand on pure tempo, and I’m certain Red Bull had been simply cruising out entrance,” mentioned Russell. “Obviously Max and I had been on similar methods, so we have to see the place they had been quicker than us. And he most likely had a tenth and half or two-tenths on me after which clearly Ferrari occurring to the arduous, which was a little bit of an odd name.

George Russell: ‘As a staff we did all the pieces for the precise causes’

“In these circumstances, there was no means the hards had been going to work, so I do really feel for Charles as a result of he’s been doing a stellar job all season, however that is racing and as a staff we capitalized on it.

READ MORE: How savvy reconnaissance laps, chic technique and racecraft paved the way in which for Verstappen’s unlikely Hungary win

“Amazing job by the staff, pole place [on Saturday] and double podium [on Sunday]. We’re making progress and I’m happy with the work everybody has put into it. We will come again to the second half of the season with a reset, refocused and can attempt to combat for some victories.”

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