Las Vegas is the biggest chance of the season for Russell: ‘First five rounds will be a drama’

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Las Vegas is the biggest chance of the season for Russell: 'First five rounds will be a drama'

George Russell thinks the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be the biggest game of the season because no one knows how the tires will fare. That is why the Brit thinks that the opening phase of the race in the streets of Nevada will be a drama. Many drivers suffered from graining, and this will probably only get worse during the race.

Russell qualified fourth in Las Vegas and will start the race from P3 due to Carlos Sainz’s grid penalty. The Brit was not too worried about qualifying, he is more concerned about Saturday night’s race. It’s getting a bit colder, so it’s going to be a big gamble with the tires. “Behind this race is the biggest question mark of the year,” Russell said in conversation with ‘We observed a lot of graining on all teams. A one-stopper should be easy without graining,” Russell continues.

Pirelli was also very concerned about the tires prior to the weekend in Las Vegas, but now seems to be relaxed. So it is up to teams not to panic about the strategy. ‘As soon as the tires start graining, you just have to go inside. I don’t think we can do more than twelve laps on a set, so that will be a very big challenge,” says the single Grand Prix winner. ‘The track is probably about three seconds faster in the final laps, maybe even more, than in the opening stages. It will be a drama to drive on the track in the first five laps.’

Graining can hardly be stopped: ‘It’s borderline’

There isn’t really a way to prevent graining either, according to Russell. “You can slow down a bit, but then the others will knock on your door,” says the Brit. ‘We know more or less which corners we have to manage, but in one run I had problems with the front tires, and in the other run my rear tires. It’s really borderline.’ The only team that didn’t seem to be affected so much was Ferrari. “They seem to be in a class of their own, they have had no graining, and they are super fast with lots of fuel on board,” notes Russell. “But as soon as the grip increases, we can already see graining in the first stint, but then this does not happen anymore in the second and third stints,” concludes Russell.

Verstappen can take his eighteenth win of the season this weekend in Las Vegas. Also betting on F1? Via this link from JACKS you are eligible for 60 euros in free bets! If you play responsibly, you keep it fun. What does gambling cost you? Stop on time, 18+

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