George Russell crashed out in Q3 after tricky conditions caused chaos at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Mercedes star beached his car at turn four, bringing out the red flags as rain conditions threatened to worsen.
The former Williams driver lost control under braking at the tight left-hander after clipping the grass on the outside. This was enough to send his car bouncing through the gravel trap in at high-speed just minutes into the final qualifying session.
You are reading: George Russell crashes out of Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying after dramatic spin
He managed to get the car to the tarmac on the outside of the corner but lost control after attempting a 180-degree spin to return to the track. He missed striking the barrier but his doughnut saw him drop his rear tyres into the gravel trap and he was unable to get away.
Russell looked frustrated as he walked away from his stricken Mercedes, kicking the air as he left the circuit as marshals frantically worked to clear the mess.
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George Russell crashed out in Q3
The accident saw the session suspended while the recovery teams collected the Silver Arrows. But, the crash effectively ended the qualifying session as the rain worsened.
This allowed Kevin Magnussen and Haas to claim a shock pole position, the team’s first in their history. It also means Russell will still start tomorrow’s Sprint race from P3 as no one could better their time after the restart.
Russell praised the Danish driver after the session and was still optimistic Mercedes could improve their position tomorrow. He said: “Firstly, happy to be P3 and congrats to Kevin. What an awesome job he did and Haas, they truly deserve it for all the efforts they have been putting in.
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The crash brought out the red flag
“P3, not necessarily where we wanted to be but a very good place to be starting for tomorrow’s sprint race. I think it is our best shot at finishing ahead of Max and Red Bull if there are some mixed conditions. I think we are ready for a good couple of races.”
Lewis Hamilton headed out onto the track with a couple of minutes remaining in a last-ditch attempt to better his position. However, his efforts were futile and he pitted a lap later after struggling for grip.
It means the seven-time champion is forced to start from P8 for tomorrow’s sprint race in a blow to his chances of competing with Max Verstappen for victory. Verstappen will start P2 after managing to get a competitive lap in just before the red flag was thrown.