It was another painful missed opportunity to score points for George Russell at the Imola Grand Prix.
The Brit, who is yet to score a point in Formula 1, blew a great chance to do so on Sunday. Max Verstappen’s tyre failure and DNF left him in P10 behind the Safety Car.
However, as he was trying to keep heat in his tyres, he crashed out between Piratella and Acque Minerale. Russell admitted there was ‘’absolutely no excuses’’ for the error he made.
"I was pushing like hell from the start to finish, and under the safety car I was just giving it absolutely everything to keep the tyres in and really trying to find the limit," Russell said.
"There's absolutely no excuses. I hit a small bump as I changed gear and I was already in the wall before I could save it. It's just absolutely gutting."
Russell conceded that his accident under Safety Car conditions was the ‘’biggest’’ error he’s made across his whole career in racing until now.
"It's probably the biggest mistake I've ever made in my career.
"You're kicking yourself even more because previously in junior series, if I were to make a mistake and say lose a race or lose a victory, you know that you go the next one and you are in that position again.
"I think the team did an amazing job this weekend, and there's a lot of things to take away that were positive, to be in that position and equally we were in that position because we were very aggressive.
"We weren't leaving absolutely anything on the table. Unfortunately that was the reason that got us there in the first place, but equally the reason why it ended how it did."
TV pictures showed the 22-year-old sitting on grass at the side of the track after his costly mistake and admitted he was in ‘’disbelief’’ at what had just happened.
"It was almost disbelief, in all honesty," Russell said when asked what was going on his head at that particular moment.
"It was such an amateur mistake that I almost just could not believe it just happened. It was just pure frustration and annoyance at the error I just made.
"I've been through difficult times in my career before. A mistake like this is very strange, because it was such a school boy error.
"We've got a lot to be positive and pleased about with this weekend. I think we were incredibly fast, relatively.
"But ultimately, I've definitely learned from this experience. These cars are brutal and can definitely go at you at any moment, especially in these cold conditions on very worn tyres."
Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean were among a number of big names to leave messages under Russell’s Instagram post yesterday as they tried to console the Williams driver.
‘’George, you were giving it your all. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to feel the pain. I’ve made more than I can remember. You’re great bud. Keep your head up and keep pushing, on to the next one,” wrote Hamilton.
Yesterday sucked. But that feeling only makes me more determined to keep pushing, keep improving and keep getting stronger.— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) November 2, 2020
Know that every one of your messages gives me that same motivation. Thank you for the incredible support, it means a lot 👊