Aitken, Mercedes pit crew spoil a potential victory for George Russell

George Russell was coasting in front, over 5 seconds ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas. The came madness. A late VSC, which later turned into a full safety car, was deployed. Mercedes called both of their drivers in to pit, and messed up what should of been a simple double stack pit stop.

Russell was in front, and went in to pit. Some confusion arose, and Mercedes ended up putting Bottas' tyres on Russell's car. When Bottas came in, the left front was a bit sticky, then someone noticed that they had put the wrong tyres on Russell. With no choice left, Mercedes were forced to put Bottas' old tyres back onto his car, as drivers will get penalised for using the wrong tyres. Russell was forced to drive around the track once before coming back in for his tyres. It is unclear whether Russell will get a penalty for that.

A couple of laps later, Russell suffered a puncture, further relegating him to P15. He recovered to finish 9th and had the fastest lap.

What does this have to do with Jack Aitken? Well, Aitken spun and broke his front wing, leaving it in the middle of the track. With marshals unable to recover the front wing with the VSC, the FIA deployed the safety car. Aitken ended up finishing 16th, ahead of Pietro Fittipaldi.

Verstappen and Leclerc retired after an early clash, and Latifi retired after an engine issue.

Sergio Perez won an amazing race. Esteban Ocon finished second for his first podium, and Lance Stroll came in third for Racing Point's first win and double podium.

The whole F1 community feels sorry for a "gutted" George Russell, as victory was in sight even after Mercedes' pit stop failure. Russell did score his first F1 points, but that may be in jeopardy as he awaits the decision from the stewards on whether we will get a penalty or not for using his teammate's tyres.

It is likely that Russell will get a second chance at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, as Lewis Hamilton is still not feeling 100%. It is worth noting that COVID-19 restrictions are extremely strict in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, meaning Hamilton will have to test negative immediately to even be allowed into the country. In the case that Hamilton is unable to go, Russell will likely stand in again, while Jack Aitken will stand in for Williams. Pietro Fittipaldi should be in the Haas seat next week, with Romain Grosjean still recovering from his crash. F2 champion Mick Schumacher is confirmed to be racing at Haas in 2021, and could possibly be Romain Grosjean's replacement following a weak weekend from Pietro Fittipaldi.

We all feel George Russell's pain as a win or podium slipped away in the hands of the Mercedes pit crew.


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