In a race that saw thrilling action and dramatic incidents, Mercedes driver George Russell took the blame for his collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, an incident that ultimately cost him a podium finish and relegated him to eighth place.
Russell, who was vying for a top-three finish, found himself in the midst of an overtaking attempt by Verstappen at Turn 11. The Mercedes driver, however, misjudged the maneuver and turned into Verstappen's path, causing a collision that left both cars with damage.
Stewards deemed Russell responsible for the incident and handed him a five-second time penalty. This penalty dropped him from fourth place to eighth, leaving him understandably disappointed. "Just another massively missed opportunity this weekend," Russell lamented to Sky Sports after the race.
"The incident with Max is completely my fault. I didn't see him, it was completely in my blind spot at Turn 11." Russell acknowledged that he didn't anticipate Verstappen's move, explaining, "I didn't expect overtaking there because after that you have a big long straight with a DRS zone." Despite the setback, Russell remained positive about the team's overall pace, acknowledging that while their performance was strong, it wasn't quite as formidable as that of Red Bull and Ferrari.
"When you have a fast car, luck is always on your side, but when you have problems, luck never follows you," he remarked.
Hamilton admits performance struggles
Meanwhile, Russell's teammate Lewis Hamilton had his own challenges to contend with, enduring a puncture that forced him to drop from the lead to 19th place.
Despite this setback, he managed to salvage a seventh-place finish. "The race was demanding," Hamilton reflected. "I started on hard tires, and it was tricky at first. Someone hit me from behind, I think it was Carlos (Sainz), and I tried not to hit the cars that turned.
I fell five or six places. After that, I made my way. I felt great, the tires were great, the pace was strong. I approached Piastre from the inside, I don't know exactly what happened, I think I was hit from behind. It was a racing incident." Overall, the Las Vegas Grand Prix proved to be an eventful race, showcasing the unpredictable nature of Formula 1 and the ever-present challenges that drivers face on the track.