Russell: Williams optimised FW43 for the race

Jamie Woodhouse

George Russell working to become a more rounded driver on race days.

George Russell enjoyed a solid qualifying for Williams at the Portuguese GP, and hopes are high for the race.

Russell once again made it out of Q1 in 2020, going on to put his Williams P14 on the grid for the Portuguese Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Race pace though has been an issue for Williams in 2020, but hopes are high for the race with Russell confirming that the FW43’s setup has been “optimised” for the race.

“It is an amazing track and the car was feeling good,” he told the Williams website.

“In the end I think we were only a tenth and a half from P11 which is extraordinary for us. We are all pushing as hard as we can to get everything we can out of this car, we are making good progress and the hard work is paying off.

“We have a car that is more optimised for the race tomorrow, but we will have to wait and see how it unfolds as nobody knows how the tyres are going to handle this new circuit as FP2 got cut short.

“It will be exciting, potentially with a bit of rain on the way, and I will be giving it everything I have got.”

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Russell’s team-mate Nicholas Latifi will start from last on the grid in P20, and the Canadian racer said he was “frustrated” with himself for failing to put his laps together.

“I didn’t put my laps together and I am quite frustrated with myself,” he said.

“There was definitely much more pace in the car. I had a laptime deleted due to track limits which was my mistake on the first set and then I just couldn’t put it together on the second set.

“There are a lot of unknowns for the race tomorrow, as yesterday’s FP2 running was quite compromised with the red flags. We made some big changes overnight and straight away this morning the car was feeling much more in the window and gave me more confidence. I hope that will translate into race pace, so I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Williams have a very strong record when it comes to the Portuguese Grand Prix.

In fact they took victory at the three most recent Portuguese Grands Prix courtesy of Jacques Villeneuve in 1996, David Coulthard in 1995 and Damon Hill in 1994.

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