Mercedes driver forced to start 2022 F1 Singapore GP from pitlane

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying
It doesn't rain but it pours for George Russell

Mercedes driver George Russell will be starting the 2022 F1 Singapore GP from the pitlane. The British driver had a below-par qualifying due to a brake issue that meant he was eliminated in Q2. The team then decided to change the driver's engine without prior permission from the FIA, hence the driver will start the race from the pitlane.

George Russell to start from the back of the grid as he’s taken a whole new power unit #F1 #SingaporeGP

The Mercedes driver did not have the best of qualifying and was only able to secure a P11 starting slot. After the session, he revealed an issue with the brake pedal, which was 10% engaged all the time. Speaking to the media afterward, he said:

"I was struggling with a brake-related issue, pushing me into the corners. The grip felt good, I just couldn't get around any corners. I kept understeering off, which is such a shame. I don't think we'd have been any better in Q3, because of that problem. We've seen some indications in the data and I hope we can resolve it until tomorrow."

He further added:

"Obviously, it's disappointing for myself and the whole team as the car was looking strong here. Lewis was really fast, but unfortunately, I couldn't make it work. It's still an encouraging weekend for us all in all, but obviously, we're here to score points and ultimately this is a qualifying track. Fortunately, the degradation is looking high and it could be a two-stop race tomorrow."

Mercedes hoping to fight for a win on Sunday!

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted after the session that his team was optimistic about the 2022 F1 Singapore GP after simulations indicated that they could have a good weekend here. The Mercedes boss was aiming to fight for the win on Sunday with Max Verstappen starting further back.

An issue with the brakes that got progressively worse led to a really tough qualifying. Disappointing, but we’ll be working hard overnight to find a solution. The car has very strong pace here and we’ll be doing everything we can to recover the lost positions tomorrow. 👊

Wolff said:

"Lewis came close today, being only five hundredths off. Unfortunately, he had a small lock-up in Turn 16 and that cost him momentum through the rest of the lap. Even so, he almost took pole, it was a great effort. George had braking issues with his car so, unfortunately, he didn't have the right equipment to fight for a top position and we need to find out what the cause is."

He further added:

"We were hoping that this weekend would go well because our simulations had predicted it and that reflects our growing understanding of the car; generally, it seems that we are heading in the right direction, especially for next year. Hopefully tomorrow, we can fight for the win, but we also need to keep our expectations in check and maximise the opportunities we have in the race."

This could be a tricky race for George Russell. Even if the weather could play a role, starting from the pitlane won't make things easier for him in any way.

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Edited by Anurag C
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