George Russell believes he's currently enjoying his best season yet in Formula 1 but the Mercedes driver reckons that 60 points have been lost across the year for a multitude of reasons.
Last year, during his maiden campaign with Mercedes, Russell outscored teammate Lewis Hamilton by 35 points while he also delivered to the Brackley squad its only victory in 2022.
This season, Russell currently trails his teammate by 75 points, having scored but a single podium so far, a third-place finish in Barcelona, while Hamilton has bagged five top-three results.
Taking stock in Japan last week of his season year-to-date, Russell feels that his performance level has been at its peak. But the 25-year-old recognized that too many driver errors and strategy miscues have impacted his points tally.
"In terms of pure performance, I feel that this season has been my best ever, but I reckon there’s over 60 points that we’ve lost this season and for a number of different reasons," he explained.
"Australia, you know, we had the shot at a minimum a podium [before he retired with an engine failure after qualifying P2]. The 18 points there we had [in] Zandvoort with the rain, there’s another podium that was gone.
"The podium last week [in Singapore] was obviously driver error and we had in Canada obviously, again, another mistake from my side, another 10 points lost there.
"Monaco [headed down an escape road from third] a few points lost as well and there’s been many, many races where we’ve lost points."
Russell questioned whether his limited expectations for this year perhaps impacted his mental approach to his season.
"When I put that in contrast to last year, I think we were in the top five in 19 of 22 races and we just kept on collecting those points," he added.
"So, you know, I’ve got an objective and target this year which is to secure P2 in the championship for the team.
"But I think it was, it was quite clear this year from the beginning that we weren’t going to be fighting for a championship. And I don’t know if that’s had an impact on my mentality at all or not.
"But you know, I can assure you once we’re in the position to fight again for a championship, I’m sure I’ll be back to the ways I know how to fight for a championship."
Russell's most high-profile mistake was undeniably in Singapore where his efforts to reel in McLaren's Lando Norris for P2 behind future race winner Carlos Sainz landed him in the wall when he outdid himself on the final lap.
In retrospect, Russell reckons that he could have managed things better on his final stint although he had no regrets about "going for it" in the end.
"Yeah it was definitely being stuck behind Lando to be honest, that’s the thing I regret most from the race," he said.
"I thought I did a good job with that attack, but not an exceptional job. And you know, it’s these very small differences in a split moment that can totally change the outcome. You know, as I said, we’re, we’re racing against the best drivers in the world. We’re all competing.
"Carlos did a great job to give Lando DRS over the rest. I don’t think he probably had much more pace anyway and that really helped him to secure that victory and, you know, I potentially pushed a little bit too hard to catch them.
"Whereas actually maybe if I took it a little bit easier I’d have still caught them and had the tyres in a better window by the time I arrived.
"So, you know, it’s so easy in hindsight but I’m glad I’m glad we went for it. It would have been painful just to sit there and P2 within the DRS range for the whole race not doing anything."