George Russell admitted he had made “a lot of mistakes” after finishing last of 18 finishers in the Russian Grand Prix.
The Briton ended up two places behind his Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who had started last on the grid following a gearbox change.
It was a surprisingly lacklustre performance from Russell, who got off the grid strongly from P13 but was squeezed off the track at Turn 2 when alongside Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc.
He was later involved in a battle at the rear of the pack with fellow members of the ‘Twitch Quartet’, Norris and Alex Albon, but needed a second pit-stop after locking up his hard tyres and causing a flat-spot when he was hoping to go to the end of the race at Sochi.
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“It was a really tough day at the office,” said Russell, who on Saturday had made it into Q2 for the sixth time in 10 races this season. “I think a lot of mistakes from my side, just struggling with the tyres. I just couldn’t get the tyres working.
“The start is something I’ve been struggling with a lot this year. I needed to step it up in terms of my confidence and that’s what I did. I actually made a really good start but it was just getting forced off – that corner’s so tight, it was three abreast and three don’t go into one.
“That was the beginning, then we ‘boxed’ on the first lap and put the hard tyres on which was absolutely the right thing to do but I just couldn’t get the tyres working.
“So a lot to review and a lot of interesting things to take away from this weekend, but ultimately the points are scored on Sunday and we weren’t good enough today.”
Latifi, meanwhile, had one of the better races of his first F1 season and will have been pleased to hold off a challenge from Romain Grosjean towards the end.
“The race itself was a difficult one to manage,” said the Canadian. “We thought we would be more competitive, but we struggled a lot in the opening stint and then didn’t have the pace to come back once we had pitted.
“I think strategically we did a good job, we benefited from staying out and not pitting straight away.
“We need to analyse where we could have done better. Overall, I think I drove a good race, a few mistakes here and there, but something I can learn from.”
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