Q2 ‘novelty worn off’ for consistent Russell

Date published: August 8 2020

George Russell Williams not happy.jpg

George Russell admits the “novelty has worn off” of reaching Q2 and he wants top-10 starts after securing a P15 grid slot for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

The Englishman was usually on the back row during his first year with Williams, but the team have improved to such an extent that Russell has now got through to Q2 in four of his five attempts in 2020.

Williams have moved past Alfa Romeo and are now competing with Haas in what is increasingly a ‘mini-league’ in the F1 basement.

But, ambitious guy that he is, Mercedes junior driver Russell is not satisfied and wants to experience Q3 as soon as possible to boost his chances of collecting his first ever World Championship points.

“I’m really pleased but I still want more,” said Russell. “The novelty has worn off of reaching Q2 and I want to keep going.

“It shows we have made massive strides. But to be honest, I think we have really optimised every qualifying session this year, which has been great. I don’t think there’s been much more in the car and that is our maximum potential.

“Hopefully we can build on that and the others will stay where they are.”

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Despite another promising result at Silverstone, Russell was not completely happy with how his Williams had performed, saying: “The car felt harder to drive than last week, when I think we had a much better window.

“Conditions are different, tyres are different. It’s very windy here and that makes it really tricky to drive.”

Russell believes he will be racing against Romain Grosjean in the Haas, who qualified one place ahead of him but then was promoted to P13 after Esteban Ocon was penalised, with the cars further up the grid likely to be too quick for the Williams.

“Romain was fast today but he used two sets of the medium tyres whereas we will have a new set to use for the race,” said Russell. “So we are not in a bad position.

“Haas were within their rights to use both sets of mediums to try and outqualify us and it will make for an interesting race tomorrow.

“We’ve got fast cars around us and you never know, there may be a few incidents here and there.”

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