While for some the Japanese Grand Prix was a very good race, for others it was not, such as George Russell, who started the race in 8th place and gained a position only after Carlos Sainz crashed.
After the red flag, most of the drivers made a pit stop to change their tyre compound from wet to intermediate and Mercedes was no exception, as soon as they could, they pitted both cars, first Lewis Hamilton came in, who had an average stop, however, Russell's stop was much slower and this caused the 24 year old to drop down to position 14.
The King's Lynn native was able to get back to eighth before the race was over, but says that had he had a different strategy, he could have done much better and has called the team to sit down for a chat:
“We need to review what went on,” said Russell. “I was right behind Lewis and double stacking, I was just going to lose all the positions. [There’s] not really much more to say, it was a very frustrating afternoon.”
“[I] probably could have fought for P5. It was quite enjoyable out there making some good overtakes but we need to sit down with the team and see what we could have done better because I think that was probably at the time not the right thing to do.”
Afterwards, the British driver spoke about the track conditions and said that the car was fine but that the rain had made it difficult for the drivers to see where the driving limits were:
“The grip was fine, but the problem was we couldn’t see anything,” Russell revealed. “The spray was so bad you didn’t know where the driving limits were, you didn’t know where the puddles were, where the rivers were.”
“So, it was literally just the visibility. I don’t know whether these new cars, they bring up more spray. Obviously, there’s been so many more improvements with the racing, perhaps this is one of the downsides, who knows.”
It is important to remember that when the cars have full wet tyres on, the amount of water they release per second to the car behind is approximately 80 litres (depending on the speed of the car).
After finishing 14th in Singapore and eighth in Japan, Russell is currently in fourth place in the drivers' championship, just five points ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz.