George Russell has revealed was convinced he was going to be last
in an “absolutely crazy” Q3 in São Paulo Grand Prix qualifying. The
Mercedes driver will instead start sixth, a position behind
Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, after a bizarre session at
Interlagos which was cut short by a rapidly advancing storm. As
heavy winds, rain, thunder and lightning descended, the order was
determined by track position for what would ultimately be a one-lap
shootout for pole and despite a shaky start to his lap, Russell
completed his effort knowing he would not get another chance.
“Absolutely crazy, I have never seen a change of weather so drastic
as that,” said Russell. “I was really disappointed with my lap, I
was just sliding around and there was no grip. “I didn’t see rain
on my visor, I was a second off and I actually wanted to pit
because I was confident I was going to be last and ended up sixth.
“While it was disappointing and frustrating, P6 is definitely not a
bad place to start. “We did a great job, the car has been
performing well here and then it is all about race pace.” Russell
predicting pit stop festival Mercedes had demonstrated strong pace
throughout practice and qualifying, having opted against running
Soft tyres in the only hour of preparation for the Sprint weekend.
Asked whether a podium is achievable from his grid position,
Russell replied: “For sure. “Aston seems to have found form again,
it was surprising… where they have come from. “I am hoping our
race pace will be better than theirs. “I expect a two or three-stop
race, so all to play for.”

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