George Russell revealed his delight and relief after finally overtaking an F1 car that wasn’t a Williams at the British Grand Prix.
The Briton showed promise throughout his debut campaign in 2019 despite finishing with no points in the disappointing FW42, but Williams have taken a clear step forward this year.
On two occasions so far Russell has come close to making it into Q3, though race pace has remained a problem with P12 at the British Grand Prix being his highest finishing position so far.
In the race he finished ahead of Carlos Sainz, who dropped out of the points with a late tyre failure, as well as Antonio Giovinazzi, team-mate Nicholas Latifi, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen.
During the race he was able to overtake the Alfa Romeo of Giovinazzi, and whilst it may not seem that significant, it was in fact a breakthrough moment for Russell who finally had the car underneath him to pull an overtake on a driver who wasn’t behind the wheel of a Williams.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever overtaken another F1 car that isn’t a Williams,” he is quoted by GPFans.
“I can’t think of any other time that’s happened. It’s the first time on pure pace we’ve actually been quicker than another car. That was such a nice feeling!
“In the past, I’ve found myself out of position, higher than we should’ve been, and it’s not a nice feeling battling with guys in a car that is considerably slower and has much less downforce. It’s very difficult for a driver to defend against someone who’s just got more grip.
“For me, it was really nice to have that feeling back of actually being the driver on the attack and not just on my team-mate but on another team.
“Both myself and Nicholas [Latifi] got past Kimi. It was a bit more tricky against Giovinazzi, but it was nice to be able to close that gap on him and at least put up a fight.”
It was a complete reversal for Russell of what he has experienced so far in 2020. This time he started last on the grid, condemned to P20 thanks to a penalty for failing to slow under yellow flags.
Formula 1 will remain at Silverstone for the upcoming 70th Anniversary Grand Prix where Russell will hope to find that Williams’ race pace is still on an upwards trend.