Zero regrets over ‘excessive danger, excessive reward’ slick tyre gamble

Mercedes driver Russell was the one driver to danger a swap to the dry tyres in Saturday’s qualifying on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, becoming a set of softs for his ultimate run in Q3.

A variety of drivers had reported a drying line showing after the rain had stopped throughout Q1 and allowed them to modify to intermediate tyres, however no-one else made the identical swap.

However Russell’s hopes of springing a shock on his rivals had been shortly dashed when he spun off the observe at Flip 2, hitting the wall with the rear wing of his Mercedes automotive.

It meant that Russell completed the session eighth, 2.2 seconds off pole-sitter Max Verstappen’s quickest lap on intermediates on the finish of the session. Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton took fourth place on the grid.

Russell stated after qualifying that he was “not right here to accept P3 or P4”, and that the dry line that was showing across the observe had given him the boldness to modify to slicks.

“We had a superb automotive as we speak, I noticed the dry line showing and it solely takes one nook to allow you to down, and for me that was Flip 1 and a pair of,” Russell stated.

“It occurred final yr in Sochi after I was one in all three drivers to go from inters to slicks, and I certified P3 with Williams.

“So yeah, it’s excessive danger, excessive reward. It didn’t repay as we speak, however the race is tomorrow.”

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Russell realised throughout his out-lap that it was “going to be very tough” to make the gamble on slicks repay. “I assumed with a warm-up lap, that final lap might have been the one, however it’s not easy typically,” Russell stated.

“As I stated, glad I went for it as a result of it may have paid off. On the finish of the day, I’m P8. It’s not the tip of the world.

Russell conceded that he ought to have pitted on the finish of his out-lap and switched again to intermediates, believing he may have “in all probability received as much as P4” with one other lap, however felt no regrets over the gamble.

“No no, by no means,” Russell stated. “I in all probability would have regretted it extra having certified P3 or P4 and never tried it, to be trustworthy. That’s the best way the game goes.”

Russell defined that “half the observe was completely dry” and there was a “small dry line” round one other quarter of the lap.

“Then the final quarter, which was Flip 1 and a pair of, it was simply on its manner,” Russell stated. “As I stated, it simply takes one nook. On the finish of the day, yeah, we’re right here to combat for extra and we’ve received the tempo to return again by means of tomorrow.”

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