George Russell Claims Dramatic Victory In Austria

George Russell
George Russell

George Russell claimed a dramatic victory in today’s Austrian Grand Prix. In a race that was slow to the boil, late drama made up for the early stages; with Russell taking advantage of a clash between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris to win.

The race had looked set to end with Russell finishing P3 before Verstappen and Norris clashed for the lead on lap 64.

With both cars suffering damage, it was with an element of good fortune that Russell cycled through to the lead.

He closed out the final few laps without incident to take his second Grand Prix victory and the Mercedes team’s first since the 2022 São Paulo Grand Prix.

2024 Austrian Grand Prix, Sunday Lat Images
2024 Austrian Grand Prix, Sunday – George Russell (LAT Images)

George Russell – 1st

‘Incredible! That’s the only way I can describe it. We had a tough fight in the early stages to make sure we held on to P3. That would prove crucial at the end. I could see that Max (Verstappen) and Lando (Norris) were having a big battle. We were only just over 10 seconds behind the pair of them, which is really encouraging pace-wise. I knew there was a possibility that they could come together, even if it was only a slim chance. You have to be there at the end to pick up the pieces and that’s exactly where we were. I am so proud to be back on the top step of the podium.

‘The team have done an amazing job to get us closer to the fight at the front. We have made so many strides since the start of the season. The last few races have been great and hopefully there is more to come. It’s no secret that Max and Lando are a little bit ahead of us at present but we’re now consistently putting ourselves in that third position. It’s an exciting time for us; we’re riding a bit of a wave, and I can’t wait to go to my home race at Silverstone next week and see what we can do there.’

Max Verstappen – 5th

“We were battling today and Lando tried to move around the outside, and then we touched with the rear tyres. It was very hot so immediately we had a puncture. From my side it seemed like a weird move but we obviously need to review this and of course we will talk about it. The shape of the corner also provides these kinds of issues sometimes and it is never nice to come together. This, however, isn’t currently my main focus as we need to take a look at the overall performance today and the difficulties we had with the car. It was very hard to manage the tyres, the first stint was not too bad and I had a fairly comfortable lead, the second stint was difficult; I think we stayed out a bit too long and then there was the issue with the pit stop. The overall Team performance wasn’t what we expected it to be and the strategy didn’t work that well in this case. It was a shame because of the lead that we had. There are definitely a few things we need to improve looking to next week and hopefully we can work on the performance, tyres and balance.”

Lando Norris – DNF

“Tough race! The first half was challenging because I didn’t really have the pace, but it improved in the final stint and felt very strong. I made a number of attempts to go for the win, trying to avoid collisions, and frustratingly I got crashed into by Max, which ended my day early. There was nothing more I could do.

“The team did a great job this weekend and we gave a very strong race until the contact. It’s unfortunate and hurts but it’s time to move on to the next one. I’m looking forward to racing in front of my home fans at Silverstone. We’ll be fighting for another strong result to finish the triple header on a high.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal & CEO

‘It is a great feeling to get back on to the top step of the podium. It is a fantastic reward for the hard work and efforts of everyone at Brackley and Brixworth. We have taken good steps forward in recent races, and we are excited about what is still to come. We knew our outright pace today wouldn’t quite be enough to challenge for victory. We therefore made sure we maximised our race and were able to pick up the pieces, should anything happen. We enjoyed some good fortune but that is motor racing.

‘George did a fantastic job throughout the race to keep himself within touching distance of the front two. It was a third place on pace, and we would have been pleased with that as it highlights the progress we continue to make. We did think there could be a chance for more though with the battle ahead and we were able to take advantage of that. Lewis, meanwhile, was unfortunate today. Firstly, that he had to give the position back to the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and secondly, as he picked up floor damage which caused him a loss of performance. Nevertheless, he fought hard and drove a strong race to take a valuable P4.

‘We now look forward to Silverstone next week. We are encouraged by our overall performance this weekend at a track that has not normally been a favourite for our cars. Our aim over the next few races is to continue to show progress and aim to get closer to the front.’

Christian Horner – Red Bull Racing Team Principal & CEO

“For so much of the race we had it under control, we had an 8 second lead and it looked like it was all ok. We lost some time in the pit stop as we had a wheel nut that stuck on the left rear, that cut Max’s lead down more than we would have liked and from there it was hard racing. Lando exceeded track limits and was going to get a penalty but then there was the contact and that was really frustrating, it was tough racing between those two. We’ve still managed to get some points though and extend both Championships,10 points in the Drivers’ and 16 in the Constructors’, the pace of the car has been very strong this weekend, we have had two poles, Max lead the race for all but 9 laps and then the Sprint victory yesterday so it hasn’t been totally disastrous, but, yes, still frustrating, we really would have liked the win, but that is racing.”

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