Williams’ George Russell has received support from fellow Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean among thousands of well-wishers after crashing out of Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
In what was an uncharacteristic mistake for any F1 driver, let alone the highly-regarded Briton, Russell was running in tenth at Imola when he crashed under the safety car brought out by Max Verstappen’s tyre failure.
“It was such an amateur mistake that I almost just could not believe what had just happened,” he said afterwards. “It was just pure frustration and annoyance at the error I had just made.
“I’ve been through difficult times in my career before. With a mistake like this, it is very strange because it’s such a schoolboy error.”
A result that could have represented his first career F1 point in 34 career F1 races, Russell said he it was the “biggest mistake” of his career.
“It’s probably the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my career and I’m kicking myself even more because previously in junior series if I were to make a mistake, and let’s say lose a race or lose a victory, you know that you go to the next one and you know you’re in that position again.
“I think the team did an amazing job this weekend and there are a lot of things to take away that were positive, to be in that position, and equally we weren’t leaving absolutely anything on the table.
“Unfortunately, that’s the reason that got us there in the first place but equally the reason why it ended how it did.”
Taking to Instagram on Sunday night, Russell promised he would bounce back stronger, with six-time driver’s champion Hamilton and Haas driver Grosjean (who also crashed under the safety car at the 2018 Azerbaijan GP) offering words of support.
“I’ll never forget this day, this mistake,” Russell’s post read. “I’ll learn from it, be stronger for it. I’m so sorry, to the whole team. No excuses.”
“George, you were giving it your all,” said Hamilton in reply. “It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to feel the pain. I’ve made more than I can remember. You’re great bud. Keep your head up and keep pushing, on to the next one!👊🏾”
“Man, I know the feeling,” said Grosjean. “Will take some time to forget it, but what you do is mega. Keep pushing.”