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May 26, 2014 - 06:20 AM
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Russell Takes Second In Austria
Posted by: newsla on May 26, 2014 - 06:17 AM
Support Series News
Russell Takes Second In Austria


Young Brit takes his first Formula Renault ALPS podium at Red Bull Ring
George Russell put in a breakthrough performance to claim his first Formula Renault ALPS podium at the dramatic Red Bull Ring circuit in the Austrian mountains.

 

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The 16-year-old from Wisbech took second place in the opening race and then fifth position in the second to maintain his third spot in the championship standings in his rookie season of car racing.

But it could have been even better for Russell, as a very marginal decision from the officials denied him a double pole position, which could have set up two wins.

George, who also leads the BRDC Formula 4 Championship with three race victories, put in a stellar performance in qualifying to beat McLaren Formula 1 protégé Nyck de Vries – his team-mate in the Koiranen GP stable and in his third year of Formula Renault – by a clear three tenths of a second.

But his best time was taken away because he was adjudged to have breached track limits at the downhill Turn 8. “The stewards said I was outside the white line at the edge of the track by less than a centimetre!” said Russell. “My speed was exactly the same through there as on my other quick laps so I certainly didn’t gain an advantage, and instead of starting on pole it meant I was second for race one and fourth for race two.”

In Saturday’s race, George had to defend from de Vries into Turn 2 on the opening lap and his tight line meant the Dutchman got ahead on the exit. But he fought back and pulled off a beautiful move at the same spot with two laps remaining to reclaim second.

“I lunged him from a fair distance so I was pretty happy with that one,” said Russell. “The last two laps I was able to get a bit of a gap even though I didn’t push that much because I wanted to stay within track limits, so the lap times didn’t show the speed I was capable of.”

A great start put George into third for Sunday’s race, and he went to challenge for second into Turn 2. But he ran wide and lost two positions down to the next corner, dropping to fifth.

From this point on the leading quintet stayed close, with Russell trying moves on de Vries, and then Charles Leclerc, as the leaders took it in turns to set fastest laps.

“It was a shame about the first lap,” he said. “I went in too deep at Turn 2 and got onto the Astroturf on the outside, and that cost me two places. I got squeezed onto the grass at one point later in the race, but I had good pace from the middle of the race.”

George is now focused on the next round, at the Belgian circuit of Spa-Francorchamps on 7th/8th June. “Apart from the podium, I’ve got a lot of positives to take away from the Red Bull Ring,” he said. “I had great speed and it could so easily have been at least one win.”


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