Mercedes' George Russell and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez Blame Each Other for Spielberg Crash

While the FIA stewards ended up penalizing Russell for his opening-lap collision with Sergio Perez in Austria, the Mercedes driver thought Perez was at fault, and the feeling was unsurprisingly mutual, with the Red Bull driver claiming Russell should have kept his car under control.
Mercedes-AMG F1 driver George Russell 6 photos
Photo: Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd
Mercedes-AMG F1 driver George RussellMercedes-AMG F1 driver George RussellMercedes-AMG F1 driver George RussellMercedes-AMG F1 driver George RussellMercedes-AMG F1 driver George Russell
The two made contact on the exit of Turn 4 during the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, with Russell’s Mercedes hitting the side of Perez’s Red Bull, sending the Mexican off into the gravel. Russell was given a five-second penalty for the incident soon after, while Perez ended up retiring from the race due to the damage sustained by his car.

After looking at the replay several times, Russell claims he had “nowhere to go” in order to avoid the hit, reports Motorsport.

“I’ve looked at the video and I think it’s harsh [the penalty],” said Russell. “You are racing at the start, cars are everywhere. Checo [Perez] did do a bold move going around the outside like that. Obviously, he’d done it before, he did it with Valtteri yesterday and Valtteri had to get right on top of the kerb to avoid him, which is exactly what I tried to do.”

“But with Carlos ahead of me there’s only so much you can brake and so much you can steer, and ultimately, I had nowhere to go. Sorry to him to end his race.”

He went on to shift blame by saying that “there was probably more room on the outside for him, and I said I was doing everything I could. And as soon as he got to a certain point, I knew it was inevitable, because I was already at the limit of my car.”

Perez obviously saw things in a completely different light, claiming that he had given Russell enough space on the track in order to keep his Mercedes under control.

“I was clearly ahead, it was up to George to really control his car which he clearly couldn’t, and we ended up making contact,” said the Red Bull man.

“There was nothing else I could have done. I gave him enough room; I was already very close to the gravel to make sure he had enough room for both of us to make the corner.”

Russell bounced back from the collision and the five-second time penalty to finish fourth in the race.

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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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