George Russell: How Mercedes driver’s afternoon played out on social media

Formula 1
George Russell

In the end it turned into the cruellest of days for George Russell.

For so much of Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix it looked like the 22-year-old Briton, given a drive in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes after his compatriot tested positive for coronavirus, would claim a fairytale victory.

He passed Valtteri Bottas, his far more experienced team-mate, and was leading comfortably before the F1 gods intervened in heart-breaking fashion.

This is how social media reacted to Russell’s rollercoaster day…

‘Passing every test’

It was all going so well. Russell passed Bottas on the very first corner and looked on course for a maiden F1 race win. He led by eight seconds after the first pit stops and fans using #bbcf1 were full of praise for Mercedes’ new man…

Alan Tompkins: Go George Go. All of Norfolk is behind you. Haven’t had a buzz about F1 like this for a very long time.

Tom Perrett: He’s passing every test.

Even ex-F1 driver Giedo van der Garde joked Russell’s Hamilton-esque dominance was boring…

‘2020 strikes again’

Then disaster struck. Mercedes double-stacked Russell and Bottas at a pit stop under the safety car and incredibly put the wrong tyres on the Briton’s car. He had to come in again and dropped from first to fifth.

Lucy: Nnnnooooo how could you do that to George 2020 strikes again.

Anthony Short: Noooooooooooo George, noooooo.

AGL: How did Mercedes get that so badly wrong?! What on earth happened there.

‘Here we goooooo’

But Russell was not done. He pulled off another great move to pass his team-mate and charged back into second. Social media was full of praise again…

R Whittle: Literally on the edge of my seat, I’ve even got a sweat on!! Come on George!!!

Nathan Marzan: Wow, this Russell kid is a natural.

‘No words’

But next came the final cruel twist. Russell suffered a puncture. From second he tumbled all the way down to 15th. His bid for the win was over. Both Russell’s new team and old were feeling his pain…

As was the rest of social media…

Liam Stapleton: Nooooooo George.

Antony Short: Unreal, how has that even happened, gutted for George Russell.

James Hammond: How much bad luck can one guy get in one race…

‘A new star is born’

In the end Russell fought his way back to ninth to earn his first points in F1.

One picture probably summed up the day…

‘Poor George’ was trending long after the chequered flag had waved…

Twitter trends

Russell was “absolutely gutted” but he had won a lot of new fans…

Nick Hughes: Gutted for George but no doubt his time will come. Wins and world championships are coming his way. Superb drive and a star talent

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