George Russell finished third in the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, and at one pointed reported rain drops over the team radio, only for that to be his own sweat on the helmet visor.
Russell delivered a feisty drive on Sunday to take his tenth Formula 1 podium after starting the race from 12th on the grid.
However early in the race, Russell reported that there are some drops of rain coming down, most probably wishful thinking from the Briton hoping for a crack at a win should wet weather mix the situation up. However, it turned out that it was his own sweat playing games.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Russell explained the incident; he said: “That was a bit of confusion. At the start of the race I knew my hair wasn’t in my balaclava. So my hair was dangling out which was quite annoying.
“The next thing is, I started to brake and I saw the rain drops on my visor but I soon learned it was a bead of sweat dropping down from my hair, and when I braked it was flicking onto the visor. So I got a little bit excited at one point!” he explained.
As for his race, Russell added later in Mercedes‘ post race brief, he said: “It was a pretty good race today! This morning, I had a lot of confidence that I could move forward from P12 and thought that P5 or P6 was achievable.
Next couple of races key for Mercedes
“After a good start, our pace was just there from the very beginning. We knew after Friday that we had good race pace, but you can never be 100 per cent sure if it will translate to the Grand Prix. I was really pleased it did, I was able to make some good overtakes and bring it home on the podium,” he added.
“This result highlights all the hard work and efforts that have gone on at the factory to bring these upgrades. We had a strong race here last year, so the next couple of races will be key to see if we can consistently produce results like this and close the gap to Red Bull,” Russell concluded.
Russell had a moment at the start of the race when he was under investigation by the stewards for going off track and gaining an advantage, but the Mercedes driver was cleared of any wrong doing.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose driver Sergio Perez was beaten by Russell to the final podium position was not happy.
Weighing in on Perez’s failure to finish on the podium, Horner told Sky Sports F1: “He [Perez] lost out in the early laps. He didn’t have a great start.
“George managed to get away with running off track, not getting a penalty for that,” he insisted.
“I think that was the difference at the end of the day. Checo his race was getting stronger and stronger. That last stint in particular he was coming back very strong. Just not enough laps to get that podium,” Horner concluded.