Russell looks ahead to potential ‘spicy’ wet race

Date published: June 18 2021 - Henry Valantine

George Russell, Williams, at the Barcelona chicane

George Russell says that, if forecasted rain hits Paul Ricard on Sunday, it would make proceedings “spicy” at the French Grand Prix.

The Williams driver is still searching for his first point with the team, and he insisted that Sunday is his main focus – but a bit of rain would certainly add to the action at Le Castellet.

With the team still competing to get themselves into the midfield battle, Russell says Williams’ main goal is to be more competitive on Sundays, with Russell having got through to every Q2 session so far this season.

“We’ll have to wait and see on tomorrow, and it looks like it could be wet on Sunday, so that’ll make things a bit spicy,” Russell said when asked about his hopes for the weekend after free practice on Friday.

“We have an eye on Sunday, we’ve got to be ready for that. It’s been clear that we’ve always been strong in qualifying, but we need to try and translate that into the race – so that’s where all the focus is at the moment.

“We’ve been in Q2 every race this year and that’s the minimum we’d hope to achieve – 15th, 14th is where we expect.

“It wasn’t really a fair session for me to really judge the pace of the car because I missed FP1. But as we’ve seen, it doesn’t really matter where qualify, a lot can happen on Sundays.

“We want to be in a good position, we want to be in Q2, but Sunday is where our eye is focused.”

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Test driver Roy Nissany took Russell’s place in FP1 on Friday as part of a planned run for the team’s reserve driver, leaving the Briton with only one session to get used to the track.

But he was quick to play down any thoughts of being disadvantaged as a result.

“Obviously tricky only doing one session but I don’t think I missed out on too much,” Russell added.

“The conditions are so difficult and constantly change around here, so [there were] a lot of errors from everybody out there because it’s very windy, very gusty. When you’re in an open place like this, it’s difficult.

“There’s a lot more potential on the low fuel to come from me, I did my fastest lap on the fourth lap of the day.

“Then the high fuel [run] looked pretty strong, just getting into the groove, learning lap after lap and trying to extract more out of the car.”

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