“Nothing brave about it,” George Russell blamed for missing podium finish in Montreal

Jacques Villeneuve comments on the mistake that George Russell made in choosing his tyres during the Qualifiers for the Canadian Grand Prix.

In the Canadian Grand Prix 2022, George Russell fared poorly as compared to his teammate Lewis Hamilton, and this marked the only race since the season opener in Bahrain where George Russell was outperformed by seven-time World Champion Hamilton. While the young Briton, who is just in his debut year at Mercedes, has given better results than Lewis Hamilton in the same Mercedes W13, his streak could not be maintained in Canadian Grand Prix–all because of a missed opportunity during the Qualifying Session on Saturday.

George Russell’s performance on Sunday was dictated by his position in the starting grid where he was placed lower than Lewis Hamilton because of a strategical error that he made during the Qualis. George chose to be the only racer to switch to slicks during Q3, and that cost him the entire Canadian Grand Prix. Now, former F1 racer Jacques Villeneuve has criticised George’s decision as he believes the outcome of the race would have been different had George Russell decided to go with dry tyres like everybody else.

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“There was nothing brave about it”: Jacques Villeneuve does not praise George Russell’s unconventional tyre choice at the Canadian GP Qualifiers

Jacques Villeneuve on George Russell
Jacques Villeneuve

George Russell was having a good run at the Qualifying Session for the Canadian Grand Prix even though both he Mercedes racers fared poorly in the preceding practice sessions. But as he went up into Q3, with Sergio Perez of Red Bull and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari out of the contention, George decided to go for a pole position with a different tyre choice than everybody else in the grid.

And as George Russell went out on slicks in a weather which was meant for dry tyres, he could not set a good lap time, and that meant a poor starting position for him at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix. While discussing where George Russell went wrong with his tyre choice, Jacques Villeneuve said, “There was nothing brave about it. It would never have worked: it was freezing cold, it was still humid and the drivers were even struggling to get the intermediates working at the front. How are you going to get temperature in the slicks then?

He finally concluded, “It cost him (George Russell) the podium.”

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