George Russell rues missed Mercedes opportunity in Hungary

George Russell came through the field to finish in sixth place after starting 18th at the 2023 Hungarian GP

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George Russell praises a good recovery drive from his side of the garage, but rues missing the chance for more following a sixth-place finish at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes man started in 18th after his team poorly timed the out-lap, placing the Brit in traffic. The qualifying strategy saw the driver unable to improve upon his previous lap and he was eliminated by just over a tenth.

But in the race, Russell made an excellent start by gaining 10 places early on to bring his recovery drive to life. From there, on pure pace, the one-time winner moved through the field and claimed sixth place after a late charge allowed him to catch the Ferraris.

“They [Mercedes] were telling me this morning, 11th is the most realistic,” Russell said to the media. “Seventh, if we maximise everything.

“But to come away with sixth, with no safety car and no virtual safety car, on merit, is a great result.”

George Russell pits after the longest first stint of the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix | Jiri Krenek / Mercedes F1 team

Regretful Russell

Despite the strong result, he was left thinking longingly about what could have been if his qualifying was better as his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, went on the claim pole position.

“But it is equally proof that this weekend was a missed opportunity,” Russell added. “I’m confident that I could have been up there with Lewis yesterday as this is one of my favourite circuits.

“The car always performs well here and when you’ve got two cars up there fighting for second, it gives you a lot more options and Lewis is really strong here as well – if it panned out slightly differently he would have been second.”

Following the results of the race, Hamilton has extended his race head-to-head record against his teammate to 8-3 and leads Russell by 43 points in the standings.

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

With the F1 circus finished in Budapest, we move on to the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix which will be held at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend of July 28-30.

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