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Sep 01, 2014 - 07:01 AM
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Russell Charges To Podium At Brands
Posted by: newsla on Sep 01, 2014 - 06:59 AM
Support Series News
Russell Charges To Podium At Brands


George Russell made a fantastic fightback from qualifying disaster to claim a podium finish in the latest round of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, and retain his points lead.

 

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The 16-year-old was on his first hot lap in qualifying when he damaged his Lanan Racing machine in an incident at the ultra-fast Westfield bend, consigning him to the back of the 21-car field for race one.

Wisbech racer Russell charged through from 21st to 10th in race one, on a circuit that is notoriously difficult to overtake on. That gave him 10th on the grid for race two, where he fought through a stunning opening two laps to put him into third place. He retained that position until the end of the race.

“I was just going through Westfield in qualifying and dropped my wheel on the grass and spun, and that took me into the barriers,” explained Russell. “I didn’t know how much damage there was so I got the car back to the pits, but there was too much for the boys to fix and that was the end of my session.

“They got the car out in good shape for race one, and I made up four places on the first lap. Then I picked them off one by one and made it into the top 10.

“In the second race, I got one car off the line, then one at the exit of Paddock Hill Bend when I got the switchback on them. Down to Surtees, there was a queue on the inside and I launched it around the outside of two more. Then I got another car at Hawthorns when I followed my team-mate Arjun Maini past them, so now I was fifth.

“On the second lap there was an incident at the hairpin, and I nearly got the lead coming out of there but got my nose chopped. I passed the cars that were involved in the incident, but lost one place to a car that had been behind me, so I came out of that in third. The two ahead of me had good pace, and we’d decided to run our older tyres in this race so there wasn’t much chance of catching them.”

Russell had made a tactical decision in race one, briefly dropping back from the group ahead in order to find some clear track and put in a fast lap time, as best laps from the first two races decide the grid for race three. Crucially, this put him fourth on the grid for the weekend’s finale.

A strong start from Sennan Fielding promoted him to fourth at Russell’s expense and, despite George setting fastest lap, he was unable to move forward from fifth.

“I had a bit of wheelspin off the line and he was already alongside me as we got to the first corner,” said Russell. “I was a lot quicker than the guys ahead but overtaking was a lot harder than in race one. Sennan and I made contact twice at the Druids hairpin, and there was a bit of damage to my nose.

“Overall it’s a bit disappointing because we had the speed for another podium. But the positive thing is that I managed to hold onto the lead of the championship, with only two rounds to go.”

The next round is at Donington Park on 20th/21st September, but before then George resumes his Formula Renault ALPS campaign with next weekend’s event at the challenging Mugello circuit in Italy.

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