George Russell discloses how Lewis Hamilton proved to be the catalyst of his pole position in Canada

F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Qualifying
Pole position qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes speaks to the media after qualifying

Mercedes driver George Russell claimed that looking into teammate Lewis Hamilton's data from the FP3 session helped him to get pole position in the 2024 Canadian GP on Saturday. Both Russell and Max Verstappen set identical times in the Q3 session, but the British driver got the top spot as he set the lap first.

Russell had looked the fastest driver throughout the qualifying sessions and always had a lap in the locker against his rivals but could not improve on his final run in Q3 on new sets of soft tires.

In his post-qualifying press conference, George Russell pointed out that the Canadian GP weekend had been 'challenging' for him thus far due to the changeable weather conditions. He said:

"To be honest, this weekend's been really challenging because of the conditions yesterday. You know you've had rain around all weekend and then this morning Lewis was absolutely flying and you know he was well ahead of me and I had to look a lot into his data to try and understand what he was doing differently.
"And to be honest, that helped me a huge amount. So ahead of this qualifying, I’m just so glad that we could pull it off because it, you know, I feel like we really deserve it for all of this hard work we've been putting in and the car's been feeling awesome this weekend."

George Russell predicts a 'tough' main race on Sunday

George Russell stated that it would be a tough race on Sunday for everyone as due to the new asphalt the track has been smoother which has caused more graining for the tires due to the lack of grip.

The Mercedes driver told the media:

"I think it's going to be a tough race for everybody, to be honest. Graining seems to be an issue. And this new track surface, nobody really knows how it's going to pan out. But we've got to go for victory. The car is genuinely really, really fast at the moment. But it's going to be a long race, I think."

He mentioned that it would be difficult to recover if the tires lose their grip as the degradation is predicted to be low and emphasized the importance of strategy, adding:

"As soon as you fall off that cliff of the tires tomorrow, it's going to be really difficult to recover. So, yeah, it could be a bit of a strategic game. Maybe not as extreme as we saw in Monaco last week, but maybe something similar."

George Russell has yet to add to his win column since Brazil 2022 and remains the only driver to bring home the trophy for the German team in the new regulations since the beginning of the 2022 season.

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