Russell ‘doing the rain dance’ for Sunday

Henry Valantine
George Russell, Williams

George Russell, Williams, French GP qualifying

George Russell said he is hoping for rain to fall at Paul Ricard on Sunday to mix the order up at the French Grand Prix.

Russell kept up his 100% record of out-qualifying his Williams team-mates and getting through to the second part of qualifying this season, getting through a Q1 session that saw two red flag periods.

This led to issues for drivers trying to get their qualifying runs to try and make it to Q2, but the interrupted Q1 saw Russell narrowly make it through and, while he admitted it wasn’t his greatest performance, he holds out hope for conditions to be wet at Le Castellet.

“It was a tricky session,” Russell said. “I thought I wouldn’t get through to Q2 because I had a lot of traffic from my first lap,” Russell told reporters after qualifying.

“Then obviously the red flag [came out] but then I scraped through. It was alright, there were probably a few more tenths in there, to be honest.

“It wasn’t my best lap ever. We qualified on the mediums, I think it was only my second time on the mediums this weekend, the first of which were my first laps of the day.

“It was a bit tricky, but it’s all to play for tomorrow – the weather looks a bit up in the air, let’s do the rain dance and see what happens.”

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Team-mate Nicholas Latifi came to within two milliseconds of out-qualifying Russell for the first time at Williams, with their last flying laps curtailed by the session’s second red flag after Mick Schumacher crashed out.

But the Canadian feels he would have had a chance of making it through the first part of qualifying if he was able to finish his final flying lap.

“The only lap I did after throwing one tyre [set] in the bin with the first red flag, [there was] not a lot of confidence in the first sector,” Latifi said.

“At the end before the last red flag, I was improving. I was four tenths up going into the last sector. It would have been interesting to see where we would have ended up, but that’s racing. That’s how it goes.”

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