George Russell responds to Fernando Alonso claims as FIA investigate Mercedes star’s crash | F1 | Sport

George Russell described his final-lap crash at the Australian Grand Prix as ‘bizarre’ after the FIA opened a post-race investigation into the incident. The Mercedes ace smashed into the barriers at high speed while battling Fernando Alonso for sixth place, with the race finishing under the virtual safety car.

It marked a woeful result for Mercedes, who failed to earn a single point in Australia with Lewis Hamilton also retiring due to a mechanical issue. Speaking after the race, Alonso explained that he was dealing with a battery problem and was not thinking about Russell behind him at the time of the last-lap incident.

“I was focusing in front of me and not behind,” said the Spaniard. “I had issues on the battery, which I was managing, and I focused on cars ahead not behind. I saw the car was damaged and I heard he is okay. I was not an easy race in general in terms of pace.”

Russell was then asked for his view and suggested that he was caught off-guard by Alonso braking much earlier than usual. However, he stopped short of accusing his rival of doing anything malicious and took full responsibility for losing the rear end of his car.

“My take is I’ve gone off and that’s on me, but I was half a second behind Fernando 100 metres before the corner and suddenly he came towards me extremely quick and I was right on his gearbox,” said Russell.

“I don’t know if he’s got a problem [with the car] or not. We’re off to the stewards so that’s a bit bizarre in a circumstance like this. I’ve got nothing more to say right now, I need to see everything and I’m just a bit disappointed with the race.”

Asked if he thought Alonso had brake-tested him, Russell added: “It’s clear that he braked 100 metres before the corner and then went back on the throttle again and took the corner normally. We’ve already seen the data of that. I’m not going to accuse him of anything until we’ve seen further but I was right behind him for many, many laps.

“I was half a second behind him approaching the corner and suddenly he slowed up very dramatically and went back on the power. I wasn’t expecting it and it caught me by surprise. That part is on me but it’s interesting that we’ve been called to the stewards.”

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