Russell: "You didn't tell me there was a car behind."

The irony is they are featuring Merc’s Communication Director on Sky during qualifying


The irony is they are featuring Merc’s Communication Director on Sky during qualifying


Maybe he shoulda spent more time directing the communication and less time talking to the boys in the booth lmao


Don’t think he’s in charge of that side of the team’s communication




No it is irony, they had him on before the incident and he's the designated pitwall guy for the commentators to talk to this weekend


The Merc pit wall sleeping


Merc pit wall gives competition to Ferrari when it comes to alerting drivers about traffic Up until now it was mostly in fp sessions so it went under the radar But Hamilton almost got penalised last year


To be honest Merc's pitwall has always just been average. They also tend to make loads of amateur errors, just not as bad as Ferrari. It's not very noticable since back then they could do whatever the fuck they want and they still wouldn't lose, but they constantly fumbled the balls when it matters.


Whose balls?


Russell sleeping all the same. Mirrors exist for a reason and it's not like Hamilton was around a corner coming 100kph faster. He was half way down the straight directly in sight. That's 80% on George imo.


I can understand not checking mirrors. But his engineer channeled his inner ferrari there.


Indeed. That's why I put some blame on the pit wall too.


He’s prepping for a hot lap, going full throttle down a straight, whilst overtaking someone. The last thing he’s expecting is for someone to take make an overtake attempt, and so he’s not looking in his mirrors. It’s 100% on the wall for not informing George that Lewis was also prepping for a hot lap _right behind him_ and with slipstream.


It's quali. Why would you check your mirrors when you're going at speed to start a hot lap after you've already overtaken one slow runner?


Why wouldn’t you check your mirrors any time you change lines?


Because it isn't highway traffic, you're focussed on braking points and braking at the very last point you can


Things people who don’t race formula 1 cars say


Next they'll be complaining he didn't use his indicators...


Completely on Lewis this one. He should have honked


He was probably txt’ing and not paying attention. And he’ll get away with it too.


It actually wouldn't surprise me if drivers regularly get distracted by stuff in the cockpit. Like Perez last week, maybe he was looking at settings on his steering wheel when he went into that corner too fast


Yeah, I'm sure that happens from time to time, there's so many options on the steering wheel in the current cars... I have no idea how they manage to do that while racing. I'm sure I'd stick it in the wall the moment I tried to adjust the brake bias or something...


I laughed too much at this and the changing lanes pit


The changing lanes comment made me laugh, that was great.


DC was saying the same thing on commentary, think he’s races a few f1 cars…


Because if someone was there normally the team would communicate that to you so you can focus on everything else?


Either way. Why wouldn't you alert your driver to make their life easier?




Typically after finishing a hot lap you take a lap to recharge the ERS but he went for a second one after the first. Definitely partly the pit wall’s fault but he should’ve been more aware too


No he didn’t. He pulled over to let several hot lap cars by on the previous lap; including Sainz who he was then passing as Sainz slowed down and he began his hot lap.


Honestly, how is he supposed to see Hamilton when Hamilton basically touching his gearbox. The first time he would have a chance at seeing him was when he steered to the right, and at that moment you will not look in the mirrors during qualifying, as the drivers usually leave a gap, which Hamilton didn’t.


There was not much the pitwall could do though. The driver's don't like to be spoken too when on quali laps and everything just happened too quickly anyway. Everything went to shit for them within around 10sec or so, not enough time for them to issue team orders and ask one driver to back off and let the other one go. The pitwall needs to ask Toto before issuing team orders to the drivers. What happened was inevitable. Russell checking his mirrors was the only way to prevent the contact.


Reminds me of the incident between the Ferraris at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. Could have ended really badly.


If Hamilton had wheelhopped George’s left front tire, he would have been in the fence, that could have been really bad


I’m trying to wrap my mind around what happened here. I’ll watch the replay, but this is the sequence of events as I understood it: RUS goes out for an out lap, and begins his push lap. HAM leaves the pit on the same lap as RUS’s push lap. RUS’s push lap is synced to PER’s push lap and HAM’s out lap. After sector 1, PER goes into the gravel whilst on his push lap, and RUS, in turn, backs out of his initial push lap and instead begins to prep for one last push lap. (I didn’t see any yellow flags on the broadcast but maybe the driver onboards would show the yellow flag on their dash?) At this point, RUS has backed out of his push lap and is now on an effective prep lap, and it’s synced to HAM’s out/prep lap. In the penultimate corner of his prep lap, RUS moves out of the way of SAI who was on his push lap, and then goes for his final push lap. HAM was trailing SAI whilst on his own prep lap, and then, both Mercedes cars are starting their push lap at the same time. So it seems like a massive miscommunication of their pit wall because they should’ve know that RUS had backed out of his initial push lap and would be prepping for his final lap at the same time as HAM would be. Obviously, RUS should be checking mirrors, but in qualifying, isn’t the race engineer supposed to be the one relaying that information since the driver should be dialed in for the prep/qualifying laps? All in all, it seems like a huge mess for Mercedes.


Do drivers typically ever check their mirrors at the end of a main straight during a qualifying lap? I feel like that probably never happens. They're just tunnel visioned on what's ahead and hitting their braking point.


100% accurate. In the end, the driver is responsible for not making contact, but that it came so far is solely due to the fact that the pit wall of Mercedes were doing a Ferrari. Lewis could have backed out of his lap BTW, so it is 50:50 in terms of fault anyway between the both. I’d much rather put the blame on the pit wall, though.




I know people will say he should have looked behind on his mirrors and George definitely deserves some blame. But at the same time, he was on a qualifying lap. Usually in those scenarios very rarely you get overtaken. Just a horrendous job by Mercedes. George's engineer should have let him know.


The question is why did he start his lap so late? Turn 13 is basically flat out to gain speed at the straight. He was the only one that parked after T13. ESP with tire temps getting heat in T13.


Carlos was on a hot lap before, therefore he had to let him past.


They need to show what occurred in the last corner, since Russell pulled in front of Hamilton, who was just starting his fast lap behind the Ferrari.


Yeah. That looked weird live, but never saw a replay of it.


>since Russell pulled in front of Hamilton Russel is first to start his hotlap. There is no "pulling in front" in that case.


If you are off the racing line and return to the racing line directly in front (as in, dangerously close) of someone who is going at speed, I would say that is 'pulling in front'. Mercedes don't appear to have informed Russell that Hamilton was directly behind the Ferrari, so I'm not saying it's Russell's fault, but this incident *really* started in the last corner, not on the straight.


Yes, but the touch is only because in turn Lewis refuses to back out like you normally do when you get dangerously blocked by another car on a run. So even with the team being the ones that fucked this up, I’d say it’s 50/50 on the drivers in how it turned out


Looking at the onboards I don’t see how Russell doesn’t get a penalty, he is sitting on the final corner and just pulls in front of Hamilton


because he was literally on a push lap


At that point he was on an outlap, it’s on the team but Hamilton had clearly begun his start phase and had to brake to avoid Russell coming back on the racing line


Nope he was on his push lap as well. There was some weirdness with Sainz coming through right at the end of his lap.


Not at the point I’m talking about, he moved back onto the racing like on the final corner which caused Hamilton to brake and was why he was so close behind


Yeah because George pulled over to let Sainz finish his hot lap like the person above you said.


Clearly both Hamilton and Russel begun they start phase. There is no reason for Russel to break that off because Hamilis is behind him.


Russell aborted his previous lap. Let Sainz go, but cut in right in front of Hamilton. This is on the pitwall and a little bit on Russell for having fucked up his previous lap.


He’s not supposed to abort it just avoid contact. With proper communication this would have been possible.


Exactly. I get George is unpopular right now but he didnt do anything wrong


'Anything' is a stretch


Oh no! He tried to set a quali lap, how dare he. He moves right to get the slipstream of the Ferrari ahead of him and by the time he moves back to the racing line, Lewis is there (who he doesn't know about because he wasnt told he had a car behind).


No. He messed up his first lap and had to do a second run. That’s why Hamilton and Russell were close. When they went out, Russell was almost a lap ahead of Hamilton.


Whst he did wrong happened before the start of the lap. He pulled right in front of Lewis before the final turn and impeded him. It's the same exact thing Gasly did to Sainz and Gasly will certainly get a penalty for that. Russell should too.


~~I blame lewis. I definitely understand that he was getting his tires in the right window, and he needed to commit when coming around the final corner, but he should have known that George needed that lap and therefore couldn't abort. And he was way too close going down the straight and knew that one of the two of them would need to abort the lap. He should have aborted, because he had the faster time and was behind George. George just got unfortunate timing trying to get out of the way of the car finishing the hot lap, and also trying to get his lap started.~~ Edit: just saw the onboards and I change my mind. actually George waited too long to start his lap. He could have at least waited an extra second to let lewis past, then started pushing. At the time he went out, he kind of ruined both his and Lewis's lap.


That would also require the team to tell him that he is coming around corner behind.


That doesn’t mean you can block faster cars dangerously lol


But why not start the lap right before T13 like everyone else? He parked it and let Sainz by then sends it straight in front of Hamilton.


Sainz was probably on a push lap so he needed to let him by.


If he was on a cooldown lap then its slam dunk, but if he was on a push lap its not a penalty. At least it shouldnt be.


Actually was, Monza 2006, a penalty for Massa.




He didn’t pass Lewis. George was in front the whole time and would have been further in front if not for Carlos finishing his push lap. Stupid from Mercedes to not alert the drivers to this situation.


He knew. He wanted to fuck Hamilton lap and it backfired.


If only they had these things on the cars so they could look behind them


Ehhh. Not a fan of Goerge but he was starting a flying lap so naturally he won't be expecting an overtake from anyone. Seems to be miscommunication from pitwall tbh


I know, was just a yoke. This screwup is on his engineer


He's on a fast lap why would he expect his teammate to try to pass him


How on earth could your teammate pass you if you're on a hot lap ?


He started the lap right behind and got a better exit out of 14 + slipstream


Drs + Slipstream on a straight




His DRS was still open. He clearly didn't abort here and it was his last chance at setting a lap.




He aborted because he made contact with Lewis


That's literally impossible, DRS automatically closes when a driver lifts off the throttle.


I haven’t watched the qualis but are these hyped Mercedes upgrades any good?


Mercedes pulling a Ferrari kinda with the comms here


Should've checked his mirrors but I think he was caught off guard slightly by the Ferrari too and the pitwall should've warned as well


Yeah his attention was probs still on sainz plus starting his own hot lap and since normally the pitwall would tell him if someone was close he wasnt constantly checking his mirrors instead


Mirrors are for suckers But why Hamilton like to overtake on the grass so much in Spain


You have mirrors mate...


If you rely on your engineer to tell you if a car is coming, I don’t think you’ll be checking your mirrors as you start a hot lap whilst overtaking another car. You will be rightly focused on what’s ahead of you. George can fairly expect more from his engineer here imo.


Agree this is 95% on the engineer


Bit of a silly initial comment from you, then.


It's such a weird freak incident that I wouldn't put too much blame on Georges engineer either. In hindsight he could have told George to put his foot down as soon as tsunodo got away. Alternatively he could have told George to wait for lewis to pass first. But I could also see why the engineer thought lewis may have slowed in the final few corners before starting the lap. I think it's one of those situations where everything goes wrong in the span of a few seconds, and it's just hard in the moment to know exactly which decision is best.


During Quali, it’s on the team to tell the drivers when cars on hot laps are approaching. He wouldn’t have been looking in his mirrors because there was absolutely no reason to in that situation.


Why would he check his mirrors on a flying lap?


Nah common. There is a Ferrari to his right. How many can he keep track of? I don't even like George that much and I don't think it's his fault


so he just starts his last push lap and on the main straight he should be looking in his mirrors? why would he expect his teammate to try and overtake him on the outside?


Lewis had so much more pace and george jumped in front. idk what lewis was going to do. He finished his prep and was coming behind the Ferrari, George jumped him then he caught George halfway down the straight. He was so much slower it looks he backed off legit i think the engineers shoudlve let George know but he also would know he jumped Lewis.


In a race scenario yes. In quali, they need to be told who is behind on a hot lap. It's much harder to gauge a car's speed behind you when they are not all going at race speed. By the time they can work it out it's already too late.


Ouf, he f*cked Ham. Lost pace with the new wing.


Well at least he did apologize.


He's worse than stroll


If Stroll has a near miss: Stroll baaaad if Russell hits his teammate: pitwall should have told him - what is Ham doing there anyway? etc.


Mirrors russell?


If only he had mirrors


Can’t wait for the Netflix action


Mirrors mate


There are these things on each side of the car with a reflective glass called mirrors.


Use mirrors on the straights George. Blimey!


One word, Mirrors


Was away for Q3 - did Russell crash into Ham by forcing him wide?


Merc’s new strategy is to remove communications as it weighs the car too much.


That’s what mirrors are for