George Russell did not have an easy qualifying session on the tricky and wet track during Marina Bay, due to a Mercedes that seemed to accelerate only when the driver braked through the corners.
The British driver already experienced a similar problem on Friday, when he went straight into the same corner in FP1 and FP2, touching the guards slightly with the car’s front wing in early practice.
“I had a similar problem in FP1, every time I came into that corner it felt like I was accelerating,” Russell said when asked by Motorsport.com what had happened to cause him to be eliminated in Q2.
“I think we can see this problem reflected in the data. But it got progressively worse as qualifying went on.”
“So I couldn’t get any of the low speed corners right. It was literally like someone was pushing me from behind. It was a shame,” he added.
Asked if the team knew what was causing the problem, he replied: “I don’t know, to be honest. When I got out of the car, my engineer told me they see something in the data.”
“But it was a problem that was present from the first lap of qualifying and was getting progressively worse. So yeah, it’s really frustrating considering how quick the car has been here, and how good our race pace was. “.
Russell insisted it wasn’t a throttle problem: “No, it wasn’t anything throttle related,” he said. “That was the feeling, like I was stepping on the gas in the corner.”
“When braking, it was like I was hitting the throttle before the apex. I don’t know what the problem is.”
In reference to whether that problem was the cause of his two incidents in training, he said: “Well, I don’t know. They both seemed very strange to me, but I don’t want to blame anyone.”
“But it’s something I’ve never noticed before. And it’s something that’s been there since FP1 I would say.”
“The grip was very good, but every time I reached the apex of a corner, I completely released the brake and went straight. I couldn’t do any corner as it should,” he explained.
Russell admitted that the problem was very frustrating especially as they had hoped to be competitive in Singapore due to the nature of the track, something that Lewis Hamilton’s result in qualifying showed, as he battled for pole position.
“Regardless of performance you never want to start 11th when you have a car that can fight for the win. rivals. It won’t be an easy race anyway”.
On the positive side of the scale, Russell assured that there was evidence that Mercedes continues to overcome its problems and take steps forward.
“I think the pace we have this weekend shows that the improvements we have made throughout the year are working.”
“For sure, we’re a long way from where we want to be in that regard, but we’ve definitely made great strides. That’s very positive.”
“But I’m here now, when we should have been fighting for pole position. And unfortunately today it didn’t work out as it should,” concluded the young Briton.
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