George Russell apologised to Max Verstappen as the Red Bull star interrupted him moments after picking up pole. Russell pipped Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to the top spot after Verstappen suffered mechanical failures moments before his final run.
George Russell’s hilarious reply to Mercedes engineer after skidding
Verstappen found Russell in the media pen before tapping him on the back to offer his congratulations. Verstappen said: ‘Well done mate.”
Russell responded: “Yeah, sorry about that. Cheers.”
It came moments after Verstappen launched an angry team radio tirade after suffering mechanical issues in the closing stages of Q3. The Dutchman reported a loss of power on his final warm-up lap which meant he was unable to challenge for pole.
Meanwhile, Russell delivered one of the shocks of the season so far by putting his Mercedes at the top of the timesheets. The Silver Arrows appeared to lack pace in Friday’s practice sessions despite Russell’s admission the weekend was salvageable.
Russell and team-mate Lewis Hamilton topped the first part of qualifying which raised suspicions the German manufacturer could challenge. However, after qualifying, the Mercedes man claimed he doesn’t know where the pace came from as he unqualified both Ferrari’s on pure pace.
He explained: “I mean, yesterday was arguably our worst Friday of the season and we worked so hard and we didn’t know what direction to go in. Then that last lap, I got around Turn 1, mega Turn 1, then mega Turn 2 and the lap time just kept coming and kept coming.
Verstappen and Russell shook hands after the Mercedes man took his first F1 pole (Image: Sky Sports F1)
“I came across the line and looked at the screen and saw we came P1 and it was an incredible feeling. We need to look into it and understand where that came from today.
“We are going to be absolutely going for it but either way that was a special day no doubt.”
Hamilton struggled in Q3 and was only fast enough for seventh on the grid. However, team boss Toto Wolff fired a warning to Ferrari as he promised Mercedes would have some “fun and games” at the front of the field on Sunday.
He added: “The truth is we saw it from the beginning of Qualifying that our tyres were in the right window and the car was balanced. They drove it really well then gained confidence from run to run and this was the result.
“In this moment you want to cry joy for pole position but equally you know the car was good for him (Lewis) to be there as well. Very, very bitter sweet. That is a solid result, we were always off the pace on a single lap and now we are on pole so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”