Russell successfully escaped from eighth place and as he descended the hill from La Source, he attempted to overtake Piastri, who was struggling due to car damage caused by being squeezed between Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and the inner barrier.
Russell moved towards Piastri’s left side, trailing behind Lando Norris. However, as he encountered a roadblock along the way, he had no choice but to retreat.
Fernando Alonso, Yuki Tsunoda, and Lance Stroll successfully navigated through Eau Rouge, whereas Alex Albon benefited from a strong draft and swiftly passed by at the conclusion of the straight.
Russell dropped to 11th place, but he opted for a lengthy initial period and only one pit stop, managing to climb back up to sixth position.
When questioned by Motorsport.com about his afternoon, he expressed that it was simply a regrettable start.
“When Oscar encountered a setback, I veered to the left, underestimating his ability to maneuver. As a result, I found myself trapped and lost several positions at the beginning.”
“If it weren’t for that circumstance, our position would have been P5. I believe I could have been competing with Lewis [Hamilton] and Charles [Leclerc] for a podium finish.”
George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
He stated, “In my opinion, one of the pit stops in this area was quite competitive. During the last pit stop, I felt very confident with the soft tire. This weekend has been quite difficult, so I’m relieved that it’s finally finished. It’s time to take a break and start again.”
Russell acknowledged that his initial lengthy period was challenging, particularly when the rain started pouring and he was using worn-out tires.
“It was certainly challenging when the rain began,” he remarked. “If we had prior knowledge of the rainfall amount, we would have switched to the softer tires, which would have made a significant impact in those difficult weather conditions.”
“Overall, it was a successful race. Both races were intense, widening the lead to P3 in the championship. However, our main objective remains on Red Bull, as we strive to narrow the distance between us.”
Russell acknowledged that he believed McLaren would have greater speed at Spa, while Ferrari would have less.
“I was expecting McLaren to be more competitive in this race,” he expressed. “Charles’s performance was quite unexpected for us. We didn’t foresee them being that fast.”
“As previously mentioned, our position in the teams’ championship is favorable and appears to be quite secure at the moment. However, our main objective remains centered around achieving a race victory this year.”