Russell: Williams still has ‘Q3 potential’ in Hungary

Date published: July 30 2021 - Henry Valantine

George Russell

George Russell has said he is feeling in a good place in his Williams, as he harbours hopes of muscling his way into Q3 once again.

After narrowly missing out of the final part of qualifying at the Styrian Grand Prix, ‘Mr Saturday’ has since gone one step further and given Williams their first back-to-back Q3 appearances since 2017, after his efforts in Austria and Britain.

Despite appearing off the pace in practice, Russell feels that if he hooks the car up properly, he has a chance to make it three Q3 runs in a row in his FW43B, even with the unpredictability of potential thunderstorms forecast at the Hungaroring.

“I think we’ll be really strong here, with Q3 potential, if it were to be dry, but there’s no reason why we can’t do the same if it’s wet, and maybe even better – I’m happy for anything,” a confident-sounding Russell told Formula1.com.

“When it’s wet, it’s really difficult because sometimes, after two corners, you say ‘the car feels great, this is going to be a fun session’, or you go out and after two corners you almost go off into the wall.

“I would literally be able to tell you from Turn 2 whether we’re going to have a good day or not. It’s going to be about switching these tyres on [and] getting them working.

“I’ve actually had a race here before in the wet, which was quick, and I felt confident more times than not when it’s been wet.”

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If the weather does stay dry, though, Russell still believes the Grove team are in a solid position to be able to put themselves in with a shout of getting into the points-paying positions that continue to elude the Mercedes junior driver.

With qualifying being incredibly important around the tight, twisting Hungaroring, the 23-year-old said the Williams team are making sure their car is set up for any eventuality with the unpredictable weather in Budapest this weekend.

“I think we’re in a good position for qualy and for the race, because the race isn’t going to be easy,” Russell said.”

“Everybody thinks of this weekend as a qualifying race as it’s so difficult to overtake here, but the race on Sunday – if these conditions stay the same, 35 degrees, track temperature almost 60 degrees, those tyres are going to be screaming for help – it’s going to be difficult to do the strategy that you want to do.

“We’re keeping half an eye on Sunday as well.”