George Russell did not complete the third free practice session of the Japanese GP. The W14 returned to the pits before the checkered flag and the Brackley mechanics pounced on the black arrow, dismantling the bottom to be able to work on the rear axle. What happened? In a violent crash, Russell damaged the brake duct of the right rear wheel and the carbon pieces also ruined the carbon basket, creating serious damage in the corner.
The Englishman will regularly be at the start of qualifying which will begin at 8:00 am Italian time, but the Stella staff have been put under pressure because the requested intervention requires half the car to be dismantled. Compared to yesterday, Mercedes has moved closer to Ferrari, but at Suzuka it is currently only fourth behind Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.
The team, without Toto Wolff who remained in Europe to undergo surgery after the disastrous fall on a mountain bike during the summer holidays, is called upon to put the two W14s in a position to win precious points, because Ferrari’s threat of challenging second place in the Constructors’ standings risks becoming very real.
Mercedes is currently defending a 24-point lead: Russell’s mistake in Singapore, which he crashed on the last lap while third overall, cost him very valuable points. George is experiencing a phase in which he is not in his comfort zone, fueling a nervousness that leads him to make small mistakes that are not like him.
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