George Russell, Mercedes, Monaco, 2023

Russell “kicking myself” after qualifying disappointment

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Mercedes driver George Russell says he failed to fully realise the potential of his car after qualifying eighth for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Russell recorded his second-lowest starting position of the 2023 season so far, only better than his performance in Azerbaijan where he failed to reach Q3. He qualified two positions lower than Lewis Hamilton but will start three places behind his team mate on the grid after Charles Leclerc’s penalty.

Asked if he felt eighth was as good as he could have achieved around the tight street circuit, Russell said “no, not really”.

“There was definitely more there,” he continued. “Q1 and Q2 was looking reasonably promising – we were so close to Ferrari and Fernando [Alonso].

“I pushed for more and paid the price and ultimately went slower than the potential. So I’m kicking myself a little bit because of that, but I would have been equally disappointed had I just been a tenth behind and didn’t try that little bit extra.

“That’s the price you pay sometimes – you can’t get it right every time. But for sure right now, a little bit disappointed.”

Mercedes have brought a significant upgrade package for their W14 to Monaco this weekend. Despite only securing a fourth row start, Russell has no concerns about what the result says about the potential performance of the team’s car heading into the rest of the season.

“There’s definitely no scares with this new update,” he said. “Things are working as sort of expected. No real concerns.

“We brought a lot to the car with the aero package, new suspension and all is working as expected. So I see no reason why, in Barcelona, it won’t perform as we expect and hopefully we make a small jump. But equally, I think Aston Martin have brought some updates as well and naturally the whole field moves forward.”

Russell admitted he faces a “long grand prix” on Sunday given his low starting position. “Monaco is a unique circuit and historically, as a team, it’s not always suited our car or been our best race,” he said.

“We also know you’re likely to finish where you start, but we will be doing everything we can to move forward.”

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2023 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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    One comment on “Russell “kicking myself” after qualifying disappointment”

    1. Relax George at least you helped keep both Mercs in the top ten.

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