George Russell had to fight back tears after crashing out of the Singapore Grand Prix, saying he felt like he’d let himself and his Mercedes team down.
Russell crashed on the final lap while running in third, narrowly behind Lando Norris and race leader Carlos Sainz.
The Brit clipped the inside wall on the approach to Turn 10, which sent him straight on into the barrier.
“It’s how racing should be,” a visibly Russell said on Sunday evening. “You make a small mistake and you’re bitten for it.
“It’s heartbreaking after such a great weekend. The car’s felt great, qualifying was great, the race was great. We were bold with the strategy. I feel like I let myself down and the team down.
“F—— racing. It’s tough. But we’ll come back.”
He added: “The last lap, millimeter laps of concentration and game over. So apologies to the team.”
Russell had looked to be a victory contender when Mercedes called him and teammate Lewis Hamilton in for fresh tyres during a Virtual Safety Car with 17 laps remaining.
The pace advantage was huge and Russell easily passed Charles Leclerc for third, but Carlos Sainz cleverly backed up Norris in second to ensure he always had the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) to hold the Mercedes drivers off.
Russell had one opportunity to get past Norris but just could not make the move stick.
“No words to be honest. Such a long race, physical race.
“Difficult to keep concentration when Carlos was doing a great job, backing the pack up not allowing us to do the alternative strategy. We were half a car’s length from winning the race. Had I got past Lando when I had the opportunity I think we’d have been able to get past Carlos.”