Russell eager to avoid ‘horrific’ hard tyre

Jon Wilde
George Russell

George Russell

George Russell has endorsed Lando Norris’ opinion that the hard tyre will be a waste of time at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Norris described the white-marked tyre, the C1, as “garbage” after Friday’s free practice at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya – and Russell was in complete agreement.

The Williams driver also believes he will have his work cut out to continue his impressive sequence of reaching Q2 on Saturday, having done so in the last five races to signal his team’s considerable improvement after last year’s travails.

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Told by F1 that Norris had referred to the hard tyre as “garbage”, Russell replied: “I think it was absolutely garbage. To follow up on that, it was horrific.

“It’s going to be weird because ordinarily if you want to make a one-stop (strategy) work in the race you’d say medium-hard, but the hard was so rubbish I think it’s better to go onto the soft tyre.

“So probably a two-stop – soft-medium-medium or soft-medium-soft will be better than putting that hard on, because it deserves no place on a Formula 1 car.”

Russell sat out FP1 as Williams gave their test driver Roy Nissany a first opportunity to drive for the team during a race weekend.

The Israeli finished P20 as he and Nicholas Latifi in the other car both finished more than a second down on any other driver.

It meant Russell was on the back foot when he came to take over from Nissany for FP2 and that time he brought up the rear, with Latifi one place ahead of him.

“It was very tough. I think with the track temp being so high it wasn’t awfully pleasant to say the least,” said Russell, who is still seeking his first World Championship points.

“There’s a bit of work needed to try and get on top of it for tomorrow. I was a bit off the ball having missed FP1, and then going straight in on the hard tyre didn’t help.

“I think we can get some more pace out of the car for tomorrow but I think Q2, which has been our focus and our aim in the last few races, is going to be pretty tough this weekend.”

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