George Russell has revealed that a terminal brake issue unrelated to his earlier crash was the reason for his retirement from the Canadian Grand Prix.

Having maintained fourth place at the start, Russell managed to close on team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in an intense battle for second place.

However, the Briton then ran deep at Turn 8 shortly after, clipped the sausage kerb and clattered his Mercedes against the barrier on the exit of Turn 9, ultimately ruining his hopes of scoring a podium.

“I don’t know if it was obvious from the TV, I just went a bit wide into Turn 8,” he explained.

“I knew I was going to hit the kerb, but I wasn’t expecting the sausage kerb to have such a violent response, and next thing I’m in the air, I landed and lost the rear, and I’m in the wall.

“It all happened really quite suddenly. Sorry to the team, for sure there was P3, P4 on the cards for us both, but positives to take away that the car was reasonably competitive.”

Despite requiring an extensive pit stop to repair his front wing and a punctured right rear tyre, the one-time F1 race winner was able to continue and had recovered to eighth.

Russell was then closely pursuing Alex Albon’s Williams when he was called into retirement by his Mercedes team 15 laps before the end of the race.

Speaking afterwards, Russell disclosed that the traffic he encountered in his bid to fight his way back through meant he suffered from a brake issue thereafter.

“It didn’t feel 100% perfect, but it was absolutely good enough to drive,” he underlined. “I think the rear toe was a little bit out.

“We could have got home in P8. But we were in a lot of traffic, and the pre-race predictions, we weren’t obviously expecting to be in that position, hence why we got the brakes in the wrong place.”

Pressed on whether the brake problem was unrelated to the crash, Russell responded: “Yeah, I need to look into it with the team, but I’m pretty sure it was just because I was in so much traffic we weren’t planning to be, and the brakes weren’t in the right spot.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 makes a pit stop to fix damage as a Ferrari mechanic collects an errant wheel carcass. 18.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day.

Russell says that he was told “pretty early” to look after the brakes and there was nothing more he could have done to avoid the issue from becoming terminal.

“It was all quite sudden when it was too late,” he said. “I think the thing with brakes, once you go over a certain oscillation threshold, there’s no recovering.

“It doesn’t matter how much you nurse them. They’re just on a rate you can’t recover.”

Meanwhile, Mercedes team-mate Hamilton crossed the line in third, securing a second successive podium for the German outfit.

Although he ended the race without points, Russell takes encouragement from the way the revised W14 car has performed at two ostensibly different circuits.

“Yeah, I think going from Barcelona to here, two quite contrasting circuits, bodes well for the future,” he highlighted.

“Of course, we’re as a team looking for more than just second-best. We need to close that gap to Red Bull. It definitely shows we’re on the right path.”

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