George Russell, Mercedes, Monaco, 2022

Russell: Delayed start was “frustrating” but “wise decision”

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Mercedes driver and GPDA president George Russell backed race control’s decision to delay the start of the Monaco Grand Prix due to wet conditions.

After heavy rain fell just 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of the Monaco Grand Prix, FIA race director Eduardo Freitas delayed the start of the race by 16 minutes, before running two formation laps behind the Safety Car on extreme wet tyres.

However, the high level of water on the track resulted in the start being aborted, with more rain falling soon after. The race eventually commenced an hour after its original planned start time – delays that were exacerbated, the FIA later explained, by power problems affecting the starting gantry.

Asked by RaceFans about his views on the delayed start, Russell, who finished fifth in the race, said that while he found the delay “frustrating from within the car”, he agreed with the decision not to start the race on time.

“When you saw the weather that came, I thought it was the right decision and the wise decision,” Russell said. “That first attempt to do the race, it was too dangerous and too wet. It would’ve just been chaotic.

“It’s a difficult position for the race director, always. It’s easy in hindsight. From my side, I just wanted to get cracking and it was definitely intermediates to start with and I think we could have gone directly and probably got at least 20 laps under our belt and then maybe red flagged it when the rain came in, rather than delaying and delaying. But that’s easy to say in hindsight.

“I guess it’s a bit frustrating for us and a bit frustrating for everyone at home, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Russell started behind Lando Norris on the grid and had run behind the McLaren driver in the early phase of the race. But after switching to slick tyres before Norris, Russell managed to pass him on the exit of Sainte Devote after Norris was leaving the pit lane.

“They didn’t show my overtake on Lando, which was a bit disappointing,” said Russell.

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Monaco, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Monaco Grand Prix in pictures
“He sort of came out of the pits directly in front of me and sort of chopped across and I managed to overtake him on the wet stuff, so that was pretty nice. And I sort of managed it until the end. It was not easy on that medium tyre.”

A fifth place finish continues Russell’s perfect streak of finishing every race in 2022 in the top five positions. After struggling with the effects of Mercedes’ stiff suspension settings over the weekend, Russell says he is satisfied with the result.

“It was a positive race,” he said. “I think on the hard tyre, we were the quickest car on track at some points and was really pushing the limits and that was very enjoyable.

“I think we just need to find a bit more downforce. We haven’t been awfully competitive in low-speed corners. Especially when we look at Barcelona, we were the quickest in the high speed and down the straights – so the complete opposite to what Monaco offers.

“We need to find a bit more pace in qualifying. We can’t afford to keep having an Alpine or McLaren jump us. Still we’ve got enough pace to come back through, but not enough pace to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull just yet.”

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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5 comments on “Russell: Delayed start was “frustrating” but “wise decision””

  1. “They didn’t show my overtake on Lando, which was a bit disappointing,”

    Agree. Appalling again from Monaco TV director to not even show us a replay during the race broadcast.
    F1 have since tweeted the pass.
    I also missed any context of how Hamilton actually got ahead of Ocon. I presume he pitted a lap earlier, but again nothing said in the broadcast (classic Croft missing stuff again).

    1. Yeah, there were quite a bit of things missed etc. and not even show in replays @eurobrun. We never even got to find out what happened to Magnussen, it took ages to show us what had happened to Schumacher, we never got to see that pass from Russel, we missed quite a few off track moments, including the one where Albon got his penalty for.

      I hope they do agree on F1 doing the TV stuff themselves for the future.

    2. Wow, that’s just terrible, I didn’t understand it from the live timing, I see why now if they never showed it.

    3. They missed also the overtakes of Gasly in the beginning. Seems it’s to hard to watch several cars at the same time.

  2. Russel drove another solid race. And yeah, it IS a shame they never bothered to show that on track action. I thought he had ended up ahead just because of having a pitstop less due to going directly to the hards.

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