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George Russell gives his take on Qatar track limits controversy

Track limits have been an issue throughout the 2023 Qatar GP weekend, with a number of drivers being caught out.


MercedesGeorge Russell reflected on a trying day at the 2023 Qatar GP Sprint Race, highlighting the track limits issue that have plagued every session throughout the weekend so far.

Russell went through ups and downs during the Sprint Race on Saturday, crossing the finish line in fourth place, despite claiming an early lead from pole sitter Oscar Piastri and McLaren.

During the qualifying sessions of Friday and Saturday, and the sprint race itself, most drivers struggled with track limit problems, as they failed to keep their cars within the white lines, Russell being no exception.

Speaking to the media after the sprint, Russell expressed his frustration towards the design of the Losail International Circuit, which he said contributed to the issue.

“I mean, it’s quite simple: design tracks that don’t allow you to go over track limits. We don’t have the problem in Suzuka, I don’t think we have the problem in Silverstone, which is also high speed,” Russell said.

“It’s just a handful of circuits that we have it always. So it’s pretty clear they just need to make it better.

“Ultimately, we only want the best for the sport.”

High tyre degradation

Russell also elaborated on the harsh conditions of a track like Losail, which is heavy on tyre degradation, bringing more room for error should a driver fail to manage their tyres efficiently.

“Normally, we don’t think we’ve ever seen a sprint race where the tire has degraded like this. So we’ve all have information we had from the previous twelve sprint races we’ve had. We’ve never had a race like this,” Russell said.

“The decision [strategy] wasn’t stupid, it wasn’t a gamble it was made with the right process, it just didn’t work out. You just have to be honest with it.”

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