George Russell: “We led two races and had to retire from both”

Briton George Russell had a strong FIA European Formula 3 Championship weekend at the Hungaroring that ultimately ended up with little reward after twice finding himself leading only to end both races in retirement.

The Hitech GP driver suffered extreme tyre issues during Saturday’s opening race, losing the lead to Prema Powerteam’s Ralf Aron before dropping drastically off the pace and down the order before deciding to retire, and was surprised to have suffered a tyre failure during the race.

“Once again we had a weekend with an unreal amount of potential but came away with so little,” said Russell. “We led two races and had to retire from both of them.

“In race one, we made a great start and got into the lead straight away. After around five laps I felt as though I had a puncture in my rear-right tyre and as the laps went on the car became un-driveable which forced us to retire.

“We then found out as we pitted, we had a tyre failure which was bitterly disappointing as this is almost unheard of in F3.”

After finishing fourth during race two on Saturday, Russell was also in contention for victory in the wet finale on Sunday, but a collision with Maximilian Günther of Prema at turn eleven as the two vied for the lead saw the German end up in the barriers and the Briton heading into the pits with a broken suspension.

“For the final race of the weekend we started from P3 and in the early stages our pace was absolutely incredible,” said Russell. “We were all over the back of P2 before forcing him into a mistake and we then caught the leader straight away.

“I came out of Turn 10 with a great run on the leader and decided to pass down the inside. He really didn’t want to give up the position and, considering the circumstances with the poor weather, a collision was unavoidable if the driver didn’t want to yield.

“I’m extremely happy, though, my team-mate Ben [Barnicoat] and Hitech finally got the win the team deserved.”