F1: Russell took gamble in Canada and it cost him
George Russell had no regrets over his decision to gamble on slick soft red Pirelli tires on his final run end of the wet Formula 1 qualifying Q3 session for the Canadian Grand Prix.
If the gamble worked, he may have been on pole.
It didn’t, and he spun off on a very wet turn 2.
It meant that Russell finished the session eighth while his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton took fourth place on the grid using the Intermediate tires.
“We had a good car today, I saw the dry line appearing and it only takes one corner to let you down, and for me that was Turn 1 and 2,” Russell said.
“It happened last year in Sochi when I was one of three drivers to go from inters to slicks, and I qualified P3 with Williams.
“So yeah, it’s high risk, high reward. It didn’t pay off today, but the race is tomorrow.”
Russell conceded that he should have pitted at the end of his out-lap and switched back to intermediates, believing he could have “probably got up to P4” with another lap, but felt no regrets over the gamble.
“No no, not at all,” Russell said. “I probably would have regretted it more having qualified P3 or P4 and not tried it, to be honest. That’s the way the sport goes.”
Russell explained that “half the track was totally dry” and there was a “small dry line” around another quarter of the lap.