Russell ‘little bit lost’ over Williams’ lack of pace

Jon Wilde
George Russell Williams

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George Russell admitted Williams are feeling “lost” after their recent improvement took a backward step in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying.

Williams are still light years ahead of where they were last season, when they suffered a disastrous campaign, but the upward curve has started to level off.

Russell and his team-mate Nicholas Latifi struggled during practice at the Circuit de Catalunya and that continued in qualifying as they claimed only P18 and P19 on the grid respectively for the race.

It was the first time since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix that Russell has failed to make it through to Q3 – and he revealed the team are starting to scratch their heads about what has happened to their pace.

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“I was pretty pleased with the qualifying session – in practice we were the slowest car by quite a long way,” said the Englishman.

“I was pleased with the performance step, but nevertheless we need to understand where our Saturday performance has gone because on paper it should have suited our car a bit more here but it turned out to be the complete opposite.

“We are just a little bit lost this weekend where that pace has gone. It’s really hot here, the tyres are really difficult to get in the window. I think we did a really good job on my second set but then it just went away from us.”

Latifi, meanwhile, echoed Russell’s comments that the mid-August heat in Barcelona may be a factor.

“We made some sizeable changes overnight but were still not as competitive as we want to be,” said the Canadian. “I think we did close the gap a little bit, but it clearly still wasn’t enough.

“It’s just the conditions on the track maybe, how hot it is, maybe it’s just not suiting the way our car is feeling and it was just a difficult session.”

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