Russell FIA grid drop in Singapore

George Russell has suffered a mysterious issue with his W13 car during the Friday and Saturday at the Singapore GP. Russell described the problem as like an ‘old fashioned tongue overun’ which in effect means when he releases the throttle it feels as though the car is still being pushed forward into the corner.

Toto Wolff revealed, “We had a problem that came back in qualifying [on Russell’s car] which was torque following. Basically you think the throttle is open and it pushes you into the corner, and then the brake problem, so he didn’t really have the equipment today to fight for a top position.”

Russell had failed to make Q3 by just over 6 thousandths of a second.



George Russell unsure of the problem

George himself explained, “I was struggling with something to do with the brakes and the engine [like] in FP1 where it was pushing me into the corners.

“It kind of felt like I had throttle on as I was going in but O didn’t have throttle and it isn’t that.

“The feeling was it [the car] was just pushing me everywhere. So every time I was breaking and something was pushing me from behind.”

“I juts couldn’t get rounding corners. I’d get there and just kept understeering off.

“I don’t think we’d have been any better in Q3 because I don’t think we’d have been able to resolve the problem.

“We’ve seen some indications on the data as to what it is – but its one of those things – just really frustrating.



A penalty from Singapore stewards looming

The warning bells were sounding after Russells post quail explanation given the cars are in parc ferme between qualifying and the race and the teams are broadly not allowed to work on them without penalty.

Mercedes have no revealed they have given George Russell a whole new power unit, ICS, Turbo, MGU-K, MGU-H energy store and control electronics.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Russells problems on Saturday were Power Unit related because the team would have need to solve the ‘torque overun’ issue requiring a pit lane start anyway.



Extra F1 power unit a bonus

The additional power unit which is outside the budget cap is simply precautionary and should see the British driver good to suffer no more PU related grid drops between now and the end of the season.

With George starting P11 the incremental penalty is less severe than had he qualified in the top 5.

Russell has had a flying rookie season and is presently ahead of his world champion team mate by 35. He stands P4 in the drivers’ championship ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, though with no mishaps for the Spaniard today – he should retake 4th position from the British driver.

READ MORE: Mercedes penalised by Singapore stewards

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