Russell only saw Australian GP start lights through reflection

Williams rookie George Russell was only able to see the start lights on his Formula 1 debut by looking at a reflection from windows by the side of the track.

Russell only saw Australian GP start lights through reflection

The FIA is working on a solution after complaints following the Australian Grand Prix that the higher 2019 rear wings blocked some drivers' view of the start lights.

Russell, who started at the back of the grid in Melbourne, said it caused him to have a "terrible" start.

"I pulled up onto the grid, looked up and realised I couldn't see anything and I kind of shat my pants," he admitted.

"I was looking all around and I ended up seeing the lights through the reflection of the Paddock Club [F1 hospitality] windows.

"I was sat looking, with my head at a 45-degree angle and my start was terrible because I was looking around for a couple of seconds, where to go, then realised it was the fifth light and realised my hand was in the wrong position."

Russell's teammate Robert Kubica was among those to complain about the view of the gantry in Melbourne.

The wings are 70mm taller, partly influenced by a push to lift the rear wing endplates from blocking what drivers could see in their rear view mirrors, and 100mm wider as part of the aerodynamic changes made to help improve overtaking.

It is not known what solution will be implemented for this weekend's Bahrain race, although one mooted answer was an extra set of lights halfway down the grid.

Russell said he was not sure if it would be a problem everywhere, although start lights are placed at a standard height at each circuit.

"At the back of the grid [in Melbourne] the track dips down very slightly so the rear wing of the car ahead would seem higher," he said.

"I'm not sure if it'll be an issue at all tracks, but we'll find out on Sunday and we'll probably be in a similar sort of position [at the back of the grid] and we'll see."

shares
comments
Ticktum to drive for Red Bull in Bahrain test

Previous article

Ticktum to drive for Red Bull in Bahrain test

Next article

Kubica: Shortage of spares "complicating our life" in Bahrain

Kubica: Shortage of spares "complicating our life" in Bahrain
Load comments
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021