Damage Limitation for Russell in Spa-Francorchamps Sprint Race
George Russell took 7th in the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race at Spa-Francorchamps, where a difficult race saw him in damage limitation mode to protect his championship lead.
Mercedes-AMG F1 Reserve Russell started from 6th position, following his podium finish in the F2 Feature Race yesterday. Russell had a good initial getaway, before 'lighting up' the rear tyres with a lot of wheelspin heading into 'La Source'. Russell lost a few positions, emerging in 8th position and battling with the Campos Racing of Roy Nissany, baulking the Briton and created a gap to his rivals ahead.
Russell cleared Nissany on Lap 2 and immediatley set after his rivals infront. Russell caught one of his title rivals Alexander Albon and was looming around the DRS detection zone of one second behind his rival. Despite this, Russell was unable to get close enough to make a move - clearly struggling with the car in the 'Bus Stop Chicane' and on the exit of 'La Source', meaning he was just out of range of making the most of the slipstream effect to pass his rivals down the back straight.
Russell was trying to save his 'Medium' compound Pirelli tyres as best he could, whilst trying to make further progress in the race. Russell closed in on the 6th position off Luca Ghiotto for the majority of the second-half of the race, however despite closing to within 0.5s on the final lap, the ART Grand Prix driver missed out on making further progress and finished the race in 7th position.
Following the two races at Spa-Francorchamps, Russell leads the FIA F2 Championship standings still on 188 points - with a 5 point advantage over nearest rival Lando Norris, with Alexander Albon a further 22 points behind in the title race.
The next round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship takes place alongside the Formula One Italian Grand Prix, at the Autodromo di Nazionale Monza in just one weeks time on the 31st August - 2nd September, for the tenth round of the 2018 season.
Photos: FIA Formula 2 Media