Ex-F1 racer turned pundit Martin Brundle says George Russell was very courteous in his opening-lap battle with Lewis Hamilton in Mexico, however the reverse was not true.
It was Max Verstappen’s Purple Bull on pole for the Mexico Metropolis Grand Prix, joined on the entrance row by Russell within the Mercedes, whereas Hamilton within the different Mercedes launched from P3, immediately behind his 2021 title rival Verstappen.
The tow is an efficient weapon on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez such is the monster start-finish straight, however with the assistance of Purple Bull’s fast tempo in a straight line Verstappen noticed off the Mercedes risk.
That left Russell and Hamilton to battle behind, Russell affording his team-mate room by means of Turns 1 and a pair of, solely to finish up pushed out broad by means of Flip 3 as Hamilton powered onto the again straight, whereas Russell was left coping with the specter of Sergio Perez behind, who duly demoted Russell to P4, the place the place he completed.
After the race, Russell stated had it been anybody aside from his team-mate, he would have run them off the monitor – though Brundle argues the identical courtesy was not proven by Hamilton.
“Verstappen was very sensible away from pole place in heading to the dusty however extra simply defended right-hand aspect of the monitor,” Brundle wrote in his column for Sky F1.
“This performed properly into the palms of second-placed qualifier George Russell, who gladly accepted the slipstream till he was obliged to maneuver left and partly alongside.
“Having had a number of skirmishes lately, not least seven days earlier in Austin, George was beneficiant with house on the within of Flip 1 for his team-mate Lewis Hamilton and once more in Flip 2, however didn’t obtain the identical courtesy swinging proper by means of Flip 3 as he was squeezed broad and bounced over the kerb.
“The Ferrari boys have been flying in side-by-side formation behind making an attempt to scavenge some locations, however in actuality these first few corners determined the operating order for the remainder of the day – Verstappen, Hamilton, Perez, Russell, [Carlos] Sainz and [Charles] Leclerc. The 800-metre run to, and thru, the primary chicane outlined the race.”
Brundle feels it has now been a few years when the racing motion in Mexico has not executed justice to the good environment.
The rostrum of Verstappen, Hamilton and Perez, in that order, was a repeat of the lead to 2021 at that venue.
“There’s quite a lot of hype and vitality across the Mexican GP and there’s at all times a pageant environment created by the fiercely partisan crowd keen Sergio Perez alongside,” Brundle added.
“In case you took away that, together with the 55,000-seat stadium space and dramatic podium, we’ve to concede the racing has not been particularly good at this monitor of late.
“The truth is, the highest three finishers of Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez have been an identical to final 12 months with very related and unexciting gaps. To additional underline that, Ferrari have been as soon as once more a distant fifth and sixth, albeit with Sainz forward of Leclerc this time.
“With the six quickest automobiles within the prime six having disposed of Valtteri Bottas’ impressively certified Alfa Romeo early doorways, it promised to be fairly one thing – however main pleasure sadly did not materialise.”
Learn extra: Lewis Hamilton displays on ‘awkward’ Mexico Grand Prix after ‘boos all day’