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Russell laments inability to restart after leaving the car to Zhou. to assist

Russell laments inability to restart after leaving the car to Zhou.  to assist

George Russell feels he should have restarted the British Grand Prix after the red flag period after leaving his car to check Guanyu Zhou.

Zhou had a huge accident in Turn 1 after being hit by Russell – who himself had been tapped by Pierre Gasly – causing the Alfa Romeo to come to a stop on the wrong side of the tire barrier upside down. Russell jumped out of his car to help Zhou, but when he returned to his Mercedes and was unable to restart it, he said he was then touched by the marshals when he asked not to.

“I saw the race was a red flag so I knew it was safe to jump out,” said Russell. “I wanted to see if he was okay and if I could have helped. When I got back I couldn’t turn the car on, but there was no reason I couldn’t because the car was fine.

“I ran back to the team to check, and when I came back, the car was already on the bed. I asked a marshal to make sure they didn’t pick up the car and it turned out there was nothing wrong with the car bar a flat tire so it’s really frustrating as we definitely had the pace to get back to P6 for sure as a minimum. So many emotions.”

In Formula 1, drivers are not allowed to continue racing if they receive mechanical help from outside the track, forcing Russell to stop.

The starting incident was caused by Russell coming off the line slowly on hard tires that were particularly difficult to warm up for a start on the grid. Frenchman pulls back, touching Russell’s left rear.

“It is horrific to see such an incident,” said Russell. “We took the gamble to start on the hard surface, in the end because I didn’t do well enough in qualifying and we started out of position. We felt this was our best chance to fight for the podium. And it was, but we knew it was going to be very difficult on the first lap and it turned out to be extremely difficult.

“On the formation lap I didn’t get any temperature in the tires and I was swamped by all the cars. The next thing I know, I was touched from behind, in the side of Zhou, and we saw the rest.”

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