Red Bull boss Christian Horner questions Mercedes' 'very defeatist' race strategy for George Russell

Christian Horner confused by Mercedes race strategy at the 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix (Collage via Sportskeeda)
Christian Horner confused by Mercedes race strategy at the 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix (Collage via Sportskeeda)

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was unimpressed by Mercedes' race strategy for George Russell at the 2024 F1 Monaco GP. The British driver started and finished the race at P5 itself.

At the beginning of the race, after the red flag, Russell was told by the Silver Arrows to manage his tires more cautiously. This prevented him from attacking fourth-placed Lando Norris, who was much closer to him at the start of the race.

However, during the latter stages of the race, he was told to push and defend P5 against Max Verstappen. Since he nursed his medium tires for most of the race, George Russell was able to keep the Red Bull star at bay and secure P5.

Speaking to the media, including Sportskeeda, Horner was confused by Mercedes' tactics involving Russell. He boldly stated that defending fifth place from Verstappen was a defeatist outlook from the Brackley-based team.

“I didn’t really understand Mercedes’ race today. It was a hugely conservative race by George because to give up so much time, and then go so fast at the end of the race, but it didn’t really make a lot of sense. But I don’t think it would have changed. They weren’t going to overtake anybody. It was just a very defeatist race, just trying to defend fifth,” Horner said.

At the end of Monaco GP, George Russell secured P5 while Max Verstappen ended up behind him in P6. Charles Leclerc won his first race on home soil, while Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz came second and third, respectively.


George Russell gives his verdict on his Monaco GP finish

George Russell labeled the Monaco GP one of his best weekends. Although it was a quiet race for him, the Brit was able to secure P5 and keep reigning world champion Max Verstappen at bay.

Speaking to F1.com, he explained his thought process at the beginning of the race regarding the tires other drivers were on. He stated that after Carlos Sainz's puncture, he felt that the chances for a podium and even a win drastically increased for him.

"When we lined up on the grid the first time, we were on the hards. All drivers ahead were on mediums, I was like, 'This is perfect.' When Carlos had his puncture I genuinely thought we got a shot here, minimum for podium, potentially for victory," Russell said.

Despite the red flag, Russell was able to manage his medium tires for 77 laps and secure a top 5 finish.

"As soon as the red flag came out, everything went out the window. Nevertheless, 70 odd laps on that mediums, closed the gap in on Ferrari and McLaren at the end. I think we can arguably say probably one of my best weekends," he added.

After the Monaco GP, George Russell stands in seventh place with 54 points. Meanwhile, his teammate Lewis Hamilton is eighth with 42 points.

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