George Russell says he used everything that his Williams FW42 had in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.
Despite this effort, Williams will start well adrift at the back, with Russell’s P19 time almost 1.3s slower than Carlos Sainz’s best effort for P18.
The rookie outpaced teammate Robert Kubica by 1.7s as the Pole suffered a puncture after hitting the wall on his final run in Q1.
Speaking to the press in Melbourne, he said: “I think Barcelona I was probably at 99 percent but today, that was our maximum potential.
“I think positively in the sense that from my side and engineers, we got the maximum out of the package we’ve got.
“I was very satisfied to be honest and I think overall the car was very nice to drive.
“Myself and my two engineers who are the main focus of getting the most out of our side of the garage, did a really great job.
“All three laps in Q1 I crossed the line with a smile on my face and felt like I got the most out of it, but obviously overall we want more than that, and obviously I want to be in the car longer than the first 18 minutes of Q1.”
First F1 Quali done. Obviously not where we’d hope to be but regardless, that felt awesome! pic.twitter.com/bXxMq4rO5Q
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) March 16, 2019
Russell said Williams are suffering from a “fundamental” issue, and that a fix could be days away or months.
“We understand what that is but it doesn’t mean we can wake up on Monday morning and rectify it,” Russell explained.
“To change something so fundamental will take months of development and work in the simulator, the designers working out how to do it, but that’s what needs to be done at the moment.
“Unfortunately we’re looking at a number of races before we’re going to be able to fight. That’s just where we are.
“I think once we’ve solved that fundamental there’ll be a big leap, we’ll probably still be at the back of the grid but with a chance to fight.
“At the moment the fact is we don’t really have any hope because we’re too far behind.”
The Brit also said that he has no interest in fighting team-mate Kubica for P19.
“The main job now is to really help the team understand the weaknesses and how to go forward,” he added.
“I’ve got no interest in fighting Robert for 19th place, we want to work together to push the team forward, we’re not here for that.”
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