George Russell has moved to explain his crash with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz at the 2022 United States GP, claiming that there was no other choice than for the pair to collide.
Sainz, who started on pole position, was overtaken by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen going into Turn 1 at the Circuit of the Americas, and as he looked to move back ahead, he was hit by Russell.
“When I was attacking Turn 1, and I saw he was on the outside of Max, I was expecting him [Sainz] to try and hold it around the outside of him,” Russell told reporters after the race.
“And as soon as I recognised he was trying to cut back underneath, Max, I’d already committed to my braking zone. Contact was inevitable.
“But, you know, as a driver, you need to be aware of those possibilities in the car.”
More damage than thought?
Following the collision, Sainz trundled back to the pits and had to retire his car due to a water leak, while Russell also suffered some on his car, though he was able to continue.
“Initially, we didn’t think there was much damage, but I have to say it was probably the worst Sunday of my year today,” Russell continued.
“And I was sort of nowhere with regards to the pace. So I’m hoping that when we look at a car, there might be a bit more damage than we first expected.
“But as soon as I recognised as out of striking distance of Checo [Perez] and Charles [Leclerc], it was a matter of bringing the car home because we were struggling to keep on the black stuff today.”
One positive for Russell was that he bagged the fastest lap at the Circuit of the Americas, though he didn’t seem too pleased with it.
“It’s better to have it than not,” Russell stated, “you’ll take it.
“I’ve got mixed feelings out the fastest lap rule because if you pit for new tires, you’re gonna get fastest lap. So it’s a little bit unnecessary.”