George Russell, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Russell relieved with fourth after near-crash in practice “sapped my confidence”

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In the round-up: George Russell says he’s pleased to have taken fourth on the grid for the US Grand Prix after admitting he lost confidence during Friday practice

In brief

Russell relieved to regain confidence lost on Friday with fourth on the grid

Russell qualified sixth behind team mate Lewis Hamilton but gained two places on the grid after penalties for Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez. That was a satisfying result for Russell who revealed he’d suffered a knock to his confidence earlier in the weekend.

“I’ve been off the pace this weekend,” Russell admitted. “The start of FP1 was good but then I had a big sideways moment and almost crashed in practice and that sort of sapped a lot of my confidence across all the practice sessions. But fortunately from lap one in Q1, sort of back to normal ways.”

Asked if it was rare for him to lose confidence in the car in that way, Russell said “this year, no, it’s not rare, to be honest.”

“Especially with the porpoising, with the stiffness of these cars. It’s a bit of a diva at the best of times.

“You always want to have a clean weekend, you never want to put the car in the wall or anything. And if you ever have a big moment that sort of takes that confidence away, it does take a little while to get back to it. But I think once the helmet’s on in qualifying, you always have a slightly different mindset and fortunately the car sort of fell back to the normal ways in qualifying.”

Antonelli takes second F4 title in a week

Antonelli is a double Formula 4 champion this year
Mercedes junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli won the Italian Formula 4 championship to secure his second title at F4 level in just seven days.

Antonelli led from pole for the first of three races at Mugello to clinch the title from Alex Dunne. It was the Mercedes junior’s second F4 title after securing the German ADAC F4 championship last weekend at the Nurburgring.

Ferrari’s Beganovic crowned FREC champion

Ferrari academy driver Dino Beganovic claimed the Formula Regional European Championship title with a race to spare after a fourth place finish at Mugello.

Beganovic started third on the grid but finished fourth behind race winner Paul Aron and podium finishers Victor Bernier and Josh Dufek. The Prema driver led the championship from the opening round, securing four wins and 11 podium finishes. He also tested an FIA F3 car for Prema in September.

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Comment of the day

With American Formula 2 driver Logan Sargeant announced as Williams’ second driver for 2023 – provided he can secure the required superlicence points – @spoutnik is intrigued by the prospect of Sargeant racing in F1…

Sargeant in F1, who would have thought!

The battle with Piastri in 2020 was enjoyable to watch and that Mugello second race really shaped both futures, Logan being out on lap one with an unavoidable sandwich when it was all going his way with Piastri having a disappointing weekend.

He’s had mixed results since, albeit in an inferior car in 2021. This year however he had better machinery but failed to provide a real challenge to Drugovich who’s just been supreme.

Based on results and momentum I’d rather give the seat to Drugovich but Sargeant may prove a very capable driver. Williams is currently no match for McLaren but it would be nice if we get to see Piastri and Sargeant battle again.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Manatcna!

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...

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4 comments on “Russell relieved with fourth after near-crash in practice “sapped my confidence””

  1. Mercedes is very tricky to drive still. I watched onboard laps from all the drivers and what MB do, doesnt huppen in any other car. When they touch the curbs or they are on them there is risk that the car will do a small snap or it goes straight suddenly.
    In my eyes it seems super stiff or the car touches a lot in the center and does this. Both drivers are doing very good work to be able to drive this thing.

    1. Good observation mate! Drivers are becoming sort of magicians with this car.

  2. Good acting in the Conor Moore video.

    Unwarranted booing & cheater calls.

  3. Andrea Kimi Antonelli won the Italian Formula 4 championshi


    What we have another Kimi?

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