The Unpredictable Elements that Shaped George Russell’s Podium Finish
In a race dominated by Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One world was left in awe of his teammate, George Russell’s incredible podium finish. The upgraded W14 proved to be effective in warmer temperatures, allowing him to jump from twelfth on the grid to third place.
However, it wasn’t just his car that helped secure this impressive result. Numerous unpredictable elements came into play throughout the race.
Rain or Sweat?
A sudden downpour threatened to disrupt the event during Saturday practice sessions but never materialized on race day. However, halfway through the Grand Prix, drops appeared on Russell’s helmet visor prompting him to ask his engineer Marcus Dudley if any other driver had reported rain.
To everyone’s amusement – including Russell himself – it turned out these were beads of sweat flicking forwards under braking as he had not properly tucked his hair inside his balaclava. As he explained: “I had my hair dangling down in the first stint – I think I didn’t quite get it in my balaclava. That was annoying because it was in my peripheral vision.”
The Radio Messages and a “Solid” Move
Russell’s radio messages drew attention again after he overtook Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari into turn one on lap 35. His engineer responded with “Solid work” to which Russell asked: “Just solid?”
Mercedes motorsport boss, Toto Wolff, replied by saying that the move was very good.
Russell explained that it was just a bit of a joke with Marcus and Toto. They like to hear big radio messages of encouragement while sometimes being nice and calm in certain situations can lead to better results.
The Perfect Storm for an Incredible Finish
All these perplexities – from the sweat drops on his visor to the banter between him and his team – made for an incredible finish. It’s proof that anything can happen in Formula One races, and even small details can have significant effects on outcomes.