Formula One

Russell ‘just not fast enough’ to make Q3 cut in Baku


George Russell rued a mistake on his final flyer in Q2 but acknowledged that overall, he just wasn’t fast enough to join Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in Q3.

Russell concluded Friday’s qualifying for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix just outside of the top ten, the first contender to miss out on the final shootout among a very tight group.

“I’d have loved to have got through to Q3, and I was giving it everything,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re just not fast enough this weekend.

“My first lap in Q2 was strong but I made a mistake on my last run. It may have just been enough for me to have crept into Q3, but I don’t think we could have qualified much higher than P8.

“It’s a funny sport sometimes. We went from qualifying on the front-row last time out in Melbourne to being out in Q2 today.

“We’ve got another chance tomorrow though, but not an ideal Friday for sure.”

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Despite the setback, Russell opted to view his glass as half-full, believing that race day and Baku’s unique characteristics will offer him an opportunity to move up the ranks.

“Baku is a unique track and a bit of an outlier,” he said. “If you were going to choose a circuit to have a bad qualifying at, this would probably be it.

“I see no reason why we can’t fight back on Sunday, and we will see what we can do tomorrow.

“We will be working hard as a team, and I’ll be working hard myself, to see what we can do to come back stronger.”

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Russell ‘just not fast enough’ to make Q3 cut in Baku

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