Did George Russell spark the first-lap accident at Silverstone in the 2022 British Grand Prix? Absolutely yes he did cause the first lap accident at Silverstone. The evidence is indisputable. Russell had a poor qualifying by his recent high standards. Starting the race in 8th and on hard tyres, Russell fluffed the start and quickly fell down the order before even reaching the corner.
In his attempt to get as much width in preparation for the first corner entry, Russell ignored his left flank. If Russell had taken a second look then he would have noticed Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri was the meat in a sandwich.
On Gasly’s left flank was the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu. Russell veers to the left, the move doesn’t look severe from inside the cockpit. From the outside, Russell’s maneuver looks pronounced and deliberate.
Russell’s left rear flank touches Gasly’s right front wheel pitching the W13 into Zhou at about 130mph. The Alfa is flipped over onto its roll hoop/halo into the gravel before flipping over the tyre barriers and smashing into the catch-fencing.
Gasly took a risk by sandwiching himself in between Zhou and Russell. Russell should have been more alert, Zhou was the innocent party who survived unscathed. Russell is neither a dirty nor incompetent driver, he is of high caliber. But this mistake led to massive consequences.
F1 pundit and former F1 driver, Jolyon Palmer analyses the crash.