George Russell reacts to Mercedes favouring Lewis Hamilton over him at Imola

In the end, Lewis Hamilton won the Emiilia Romagna Grand Prix ahead of George Russell.

At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, George Russell insisted he wasn’t too upset about coming in second to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. At Imola, they had to make do with sixth and seventh place, with Hamilton overtaking Russell in the closing stages of the race.

Russell led Hamilton the entire way until the last 14 laps, when he was forced to make an additional pit stop to install a fresh set of medium tires. Although he was faster than Hamilton throughout the weekend, it meant that he ended one position behind the leader. However, it also gave him an extra point for recording the fastest lap of the race.

Russell said that he was not as upset about finishing sixth as he would have been if he had been battling for the race victory in his post-race remarks.

“With sixth and seventh, you’re never going to be content,” he declared. “As a team, we managed to score one more point in the end. To be honest, I won’t be upset about finishing sixth because Lewis won my spot. We currently find ourselves somewhat in the middle of nowhere, trailing the Ferraris and McLarens but ahead of the midfield.”

Mercedes was evidently the fourth-fastest team in Imola and had little prospect of overtaking the drivers in front of them. In an attempt to keep the Mexican driver at bay, Russell stopped for new tires in the second half of the race after Sergio Perez put pressure on them from behind.

Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes, gave the following explanation for the decision to replace Russell’s hard tires with mediums: “His lap times were getting slower and slower.” That was the call because our wear forecasts at the time indicated he wouldn’t last, and we didn’t want to lose the position to Perez.”

Despite their most recent disappointing performance, Wolff insisted that his team is still headed in the right direction. The Silver Arrows will not be pleased with their sixth and seventh place finishes.

“Progress is evident if you consider the distance between us and our nearest rivals,” he continued. “We have been saying for a while that these are not the positions we want to be in, but we also notice that others’ leads are closing. Right now, we have to accept that things take time and require patience.

“We are aware that there are upcoming innovations that will enhance the vehicle’s balance. We are making progress even though our current positions are inadequate. We’ll concentrate on making the most of our current package and trying to earn points throughout the race.”

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