George Russell admitted to being slightly disappointed not to take victory in the Feature race at Silverstone, with the British racer losing enough time in his pit stop to allow Alexander Albon to take the lead and ultimately the win.
Russell had dominated the weekend up until then, but was forced to settle for second, particularly as he also earned a five-second penalty for speeding as he entered the pit lane, but despite the time lost in the pits, caused with a slow front left tyre change, he was still full of praise of and confident in his ART Grand Prix team.
“Slightly disappointed to lose the win in the pit stop, but my team have been fantastic all year in the pit stops,” said Russell to The Checkered Flag. “If it only happens one time and we only lose one position I can’t complain at all.
“The pace was fantastic but all credit to Alex and DAMS, they were just as quick as us, second, fastest lap, pole position, it was almost perfect.”
Russell feels he has got on top of the Pirelli tyres so far in 2018, and believes that if it was anyone else but Albon at the front of the field, he could have caught and passed them and gapped them by the five seconds he would have needed to claim the win.
“If you look at the last two races, I finished second in the Red Bull Ring, I should have won the race at Paul Ricard from eighth, because once we got going, two laps late, I caught the leader by ten seconds,” said Russell. “I’m feeling good, I’m feeling confident.
“I feel that I’ve understood it, I think I know what I need to do, and the case today was, I know it’s a difficult track to overtake, I knew Alex was very quick, do I risk destroying my tyres to try to get ahead.
“Even I got ahead, do I think I could have pulled a five second gap to him, I don’t think so. If it was anyone else, I probably could have done, but he was too quick today, and us two together we very quick.”
Looking ahead to the Sprint race, Russell believes he can work his way up the field again and claim a podium, although he will be looking to see the kind of pace the drivers who finished behind him on Saturday had in order to judge where he may end up on Sunday.
“I think we can get a podium, I feel confident,” said the Mercedes-Benz protégé. “I need to look at how the pace was of the drivers who will be starting in the top five tomorrow, but I think myself and Albon were down the road on a lot of people, there is no reason we can’t fight.”