George Russell admitted that he had “mixed emotions” after having finished right outside the top 3 in Belgium.
After a difficult qualifying, Russell began the race at Spa-Francorchamps 5th thanks to grid penalties of several drivers ahead. The Briton had a chance of finishing on the podium as he was catching Carlos Sainz in the final stages of the race. However, Russell did not manage to get ahead of the Spaniard.
“Mixed emotions because I felt like the podium was definitely in sight and could have been achieved,” the Mercedes driver reflected on the race.
“But all we seem to talk about these days in F1 is tires, and I had a small lock-up, went a little bit wide, lost my tires, and that was game over. As I said, mixed feelings.
“I don’t think we expected to finish two seconds behind Sainz. We thought we’d be able to beat [Charles] Leclerc. We didn’t think we’d beat [Max] Verstappen.
“Max was probably further ahead than we thought. And we were probably closer to Ferrari than we thought. So positives in some ways, negatives in others.”
Russell added that the track surface created a challenge: “It’s really tricky surface because the tarmac is so open. The grip level in turn 8 and turn 9, where it’s been resurfaced, is substantially higher compared to the rest of the track.
“And the car always felt great in those two corners, and it felt really poor everywhere else. I was quite surprised the whole circuit wasn’t re-laid, but I guess that makes it quite unique here in Spa.
“From a pure driving experience, it wasn’t the nicest when you compare it with other circuits. Budapest has been recently re-laid, and you can push flat out every lap.”