GEORGE RUSSELL will start the Dutch Grand Prix from sixth on the grid after an unlucky qualifying for Mercedes.
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George Russell has suggested he is hoping Max Verstappen can distract the Ferraris to help the Silver Arrows bid for a podium. Russell said Ferrari were likely to “put all of their focus” on beating Verstappen in tomorrow’s race which may present an opportunity.
He said: “I mean I hope they will put all of their focus on Max because it may leave them vulnerable. I think Max is just going to clear off into the distance.
“I think we will have a faster car than Ferrari and Checo tomorrow so we’ve got to go for it.” Mercedes appeared to have the pace to challenge for pole during practice but were not able to do a final run in Q3 after Sergio Perez crashed.
Russell didn’t get a lap on fresh tyres after he completed his first run on a scrubbed set. It left Russell half a second adrift of team-mate Lewis Hamilton who could only mange P4 himself.
READ MORE: Max Verstappen reacts to taking Dutch GP pole after Sergio Perez crash
George Russell has tipped Mercedes to challenge Ferrari (Image: Sky Sports F1)
When asked how his session had gone, Russell explained: “Yeah not brilliant to be honest. The car was feeling great all weekend and had a really strong feeling after FP3 but it didn’t really click for me today.
“And ultimately it was the lack of performance in Q2 that cost me in Q3 because we had to take thats second set of tyres so I only had one set available in Q3 and then obviously with the yellow I couldn’t get my lap in.”
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However, he failed to blame the Mexican for the incident, admitting it “wasn’t his fault”. He added: “It’s very frustrating. We were tenth up on Verstappen and on Leclerc so Lewis played for the podium.”
When questioned whether Hamilton really was a head, Wolff added: “Yeah, Yeah we were were ahead. Obviously it’s not the case at the end.”