Robert Kubica, Williams, Paul Ricard, 2019

Russell enjoyed “hairy” scrap with Kubica despite damage

2019 French Grand Prix

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George Russell said his fight with Robert Kubica was “good fun” despite having to pit for a front wing change after being forced wide by his team mate.

Russell qualified ahead of the other Williams but had to start behind due to a penalty. Although he told the team on the radio he was quicker than Kubica, Russell said he wasn’t hoping they would be ordered to change places.

“I told the team at the start I felt I was quicker than him but didn’t expect anything to change, I wanted to do it fairly and properly on track.

“The first attempt I went wide and damaged the front wing. The second attempt I made it stick and it was quite a hairy move but it was the highlight of my race.”

Russell had to make a second pit stop to replace his front wing. He said he wasn’t aware it was damaged.

“From my side I felt no difference,” he said when asked by RaceFans. “But the team were seeing some issues, I think maybe there was just a small crack or something when I when I hit the polystyrene board.

“If we were fighting for points we would’ve stayed out there and gambled but there was no need.”

Russell said that on reflection it would have made sense for the team to intervene in the battle between its two drivers.

“In hindsight, yes, because the result of it was a damaged front wing. But I don’t want to overtake him from a pit call I want to overtake him fairly on-track.

“The team are giving us equal opportunities and that’s how it should be.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Russell enjoyed “hairy” scrap with Kubica despite damage”

  1. At the risk of being unkind or cynical, I think Russell can afford to be easy going about this. I doubt if it is his performance/seat that is in danger with the team.
    It would have been great to have had him in the other McLaren alongside Norris but that would be wishing for far too much.

    1. @nullapax Why? Sainz is beating Norris and Mclaren wouldn’t have wanted 2 completely inexperienced drivers anyway. Next year, though, I suspect there’ll be plenty of movement in the top few teams so hopefully a better place will open up for Russell. Or better, Williams will become competitive again… we can but hope.

  2. @tflb purely to see them going up against each other in the same car after all of the boasts/excuses both of their fans made last year.

  3. I think he (Russel) needs another season alongside another teammate, one that is competitive i mean.

    Right now Kubica is doing a “Hartley” and we can see where it all led (Gasly performing poorly).

    1. To be fair, I think Brendon Hartley was there to help develop the Honda PU with his background & not to challenge Gasley.
      In my mind he did a stirling & professional job as can be seen by the progress.

      1. Well we will never know what was his job at Toro Rosso. The focus, i mean.

        Right now i can see that Williams hired Kubica to help develop the car as well, just like Toro Rosso did with Brendon. To me, Russel needs a real challenge so we can really have a clue where he is at the pecking order of the drivers.

        He is better than Kubica, thats for sure, but Kubica has a lot a of problems too. His disability, a bad car, his time off. All of this transforms Kubica at the TRUE rookie of the team (and of the season).

        I dont think he will be back after the summer break, but lets see.

  4. Nice to see Robert beating the reigning F2 champion and most promising rookie, it was only a matter of time.
    Look forward to him finding more form as the season progresses, because I don’t think Russell has more to give…

    Maybe that lost Ferrari seat for 2020 when Vet quits?

    1. Surely you mean Robert Di Niro? Because Robert Kubica doesn’t deserve a hospitality suite internship at Ferrari….

      Biggest let down of 2019 tbh…

    2. Surely you’re not being serious? Kubica has been thrashed this season and was nowhere near Russell’s pace all weekend. He only finished ahead due to Russell having to make an extra stop.

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