‘Bad start, poor pace but plenty of positives’

Date published: July 20 2020

George Russell Williams not happy.jpg

George Russell and Williams had a weekend of highs and lows at the Hungarian Grand Prix, getting both cars into Q2 but finishing the race last.

After his antics in a wet qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix saw him finish P12, Russell was keen to see what his FW43 could do in the dry at the Hungaroring.

It was P12 again, however, this time around he was joined in Q2 by his rookie team-mate Nicholas Latifi.

It was the first time since Monza 2018 that Williams got both cars into the second qualifying segment.

The joy, though, didn’t last long.

Russell had an awful start on the damp track and quickly began to lose positions.

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Before too long he was running at the back of the pack with his team-mate, who made a few mistakes, a few laps behind him.

He finished the Hungarian GP P18 to Latifi’s P19.

“Firstly, we made a bad start in the wet and it was very tricky,” said the British driver.

“I think everyone on the inside struggled for whatever reason.

“From then on in, our race pace was really poor, we just need to understand what is going on.”

Last season it was a different picture for Russell and Williams with the team struggling in qualifying, often taking up the final row of the grid, before showing better pace in the grand prix.

Russell explained: “Last year it was the opposite, our race pace was better than the qualifying pace. Now we are pretty fast on the Saturday and struggle a lot on the Sunday.”

He does, however, feel that Williams can draw some positives from their improved Saturday showings.

“If we look at everything and see the steps we have made, especially on the Saturdays, we have got to be relatively pleased,” he said.

“There are plenty of positives, we just need to rectify the negatives and make our pace of the car a bit better across the ball.”

As for Latifi, he made a better start then his team-mate, up to P10 on the opening lap.

However, he suffered a puncture when he was released into the path of a McLaren, contact damaging his tyre which resulted in a spin.

“We had a good start and first lap, and then it all came undone with the pit stop, unfortunately that can happen in a busy pit lane,” said the Canadian.

“I got the puncture and then unfortunately sustained quite a lot of damage bringing the car back to the pits.

“We had a big chunk of the floor missing, so just keeping the car on the track the whole race was quite difficult.

“It just wasn’t meant to be, it was a bit unfortunate, but still there are positives to take from yesterday. We just need to reset going into Silverstone.”

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