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Jun 23, 2014 - 06:55 AM
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Russell Takes Two More Podiums
Posted by: newsla on Jun 23, 2014 - 06:50 AM
Support Series News
Russell Takes Two More Podiums


George Russell maintained his BRDC Formula 4 Championship lead with two podium finishes in the third round at Snetterton.

The 16-year-old ex-karting star took his first pole position in his Lanan Racing machine since moving into cars, before finishing third in the first two races and then sixth in the third.

 

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Wisbech racer Russell earned pole by the tiny margin of four thousandths of a second, but qualifying conditions were challenging for all the drivers. “It was difficult because the wind direction had changed a lot from testing,” he said. “Plus it was a lot hotter than we’ve ever experienced at Snetterton, and we had so much rubber down on the track from the cars in the British GT Championship. Some corners had a lot more grip than usual, some a lot less.”

Russell lost the lead of the first race at the second corner – a tight right-hand hairpin – when his main challenger tried to go around the outside and they collided. That relegated George to second, and he lost another position on lap two. From then on, he fought to reclaim second, but was unable to find a way past.

“Will Palmer just tried to pass me around the outside of Turn 2,” he said. “I took my normal racing line, and next thing I knew my rear wheel was going over his front wheel. That allowed my main title rival Raoul Hyman to get past, and that was a little bit frustrating.

“Will came past me and then ahead of Raoul, and I spent the whole race trying to pass Raoul. His team seems to have found something in their set-up that gives them good straight-line speed. Our pace gives us a very good overall lap time, but I couldn’t carry the speed I wanted to through the corners because Raoul was ahead of me, and then every time it came to an overtaking opportunity he pulled away on the straights.”

The result put George sixth on the grid for the reversed-grid second race, but he shot up to third on the opening lap, passing two cars around the outside of the high-speed Riches and another at the hairpin. After a safety car period, Russell tried to wrest second place, but ran wide and dropped to fourth before recovering to third.

“It was a great opening lap!” he said. “I got the slipstream on the safety car restart and went to the outside, but there were a lot of rubber marbles down and I lost grip and lost a position. My car was really fast so I was easily able to get third back – we had second fastest lap and the guy who was fastest had four new tyres, while I was on old tyres.”

Russell started the final race from fifth on the grid. Again he was on old tyres and lost a place at the start. Despite constant pressure to the car in front, he finished the race sixth. “Four of the drivers in front had new tyres so I’m really happy with our pace on old rubber,” he said. “We kept the same set from qualifying all the way through the races, and I just didn’t want to risk too much to gain fifth. Consistency is really important in F4, and my main rival was only a couple of places ahead of me. The two of us got the same amount of points over the weekend, so the most important thing is that I’ve maintained my advantage. And I’m happy that even though this is my first weekend without a win in F4, I’ve finished in the top six in all nine races.”

While the next round of the BRDC F4 Championship is at Oulton Park on 19th July, George will be busy in Formula Renault action over the next two weekends. First he contests the Eurocup round next weekend at Moscow Raceway in Russia as a wildcard entry, in order to learn the circuit. Then he heads straight to the legendary Italian track of Monza for the next round of the Formula Renault ALPS series on 5th/6th July.


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