'Starved of success' George Russell was 'over-reaching in his quest for a long-awaited victory' in Canada

F1 Grand Prix of Canada
George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes celebrates with his trophy on the podium - Getty

F1 pundit Andrew Benson claimed that George Russell's starvation for 'success' since joining Mercedes was the reason behind his error-filled race in Canada earlier this month. The Mercedes driver took a shock pole in Q3 at the Canadian GP after he set a lap time identical to Max Verstappen's, getting the honor due to having set it first. However, he was unable to convert his second pole position into a win in the changeable conditions in Montreal as he made too many mistakes.

He finished in P3 behind Verstappen and McLaren's Lando Norris in the race on Sunday, May 9,

Russell came under massive pressure from critics regarding his inability to convert the pole and his race management skills, with some even questioning if he can take up the mantle of team leader after Lewis Hamilton's departure at the end of the year.

In his Q&A on BBC, Benson extended support to George Russell and stated that the young British driver's lack of opportunities for success is the key factor behind his multiple errors.

He said:

"The sense was that Russell, starved of success for so long after more than two difficult seasons at Mercedes, was perhaps over-reaching in his quest for a long-awaited victory. But the data-set of races when he has been fighting at the front is so small that it would be wrong to assume that this is an inherent characteristic of him as a driver."
"Let’s not forget that he was flawless in his delivery of a win in Brazil in 2022. There is, therefore, no obvious reason why Russell could not lead Mercedes next season after Hamilton leaves," Benson added.

Former F1 driver gives his damning verdict on George Russell

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher stated that Max Verstappen potentially joining Mercedes would be a dangerous sign for George Russell who he claimed was a 'super talent'.

As per Motorsport-NetgenAuto, the German said:

"If Verstappen really does decide to leave Red Bull, I can imagine that there is a seat for him at Mercedes. That could be rather bad for George Russell. He is or was a super talent but he also makes a lot of mistakes. If a triple world champion is on the market, I can imagine that George Russell’s job could be in danger."

Schumacher further cited the example of the Canadian GP and pointed out that the German team could have won if the three-time world champion was at the helm, adding:

"Mercedes would have won the race in Canada with Max at the wheel. That’s clear."

George Russell is currently P7 in the Drivers' Championship with 69 points. He extended his lead over his teammate Lewis Hamilton by 14 points after securing his first podium of the season.

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Edited by Aayush Kapoor
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