George Russell, Williams, Hungaroring, 2019

Russell’s 16th place ‘felt like a pole lap’ for Williams

2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

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George Russell says his surprise 16th on the grid for Williams “felt like a pole lap” for the team.

Williams has been the slowest team in qualifying at every round so far this year. But Russell said he thought after final practice they could get into Q2 for the first time.

“I felt like I did a good lap in [final practice],” he said. “I think we were a few tenths behind the guys around us. I wasn’t sure if they were making mistakes or what was happening.

“Prior to that session from the strategists and everything we believed our true pace was about four tenths behind the next-slowest. So to come away [16th] on merit ahead of both Racing Points and [Daniel] Ricciardo it really felt like a pole lap for us.”

Russell described the mood in the team as “electric” following today’s qualifying session.

“Considering our whole season to this point, it’s been an incredibly tough year from so many aspects. Especially the race team people – it doesn’t matter if you’re at the front of the grid or the back of the grid – you still work the same hours, as much effort.

“These guys only four years ago were putting the car on front row places, podiums week-in, week-out. And they’re working probably harder now than they’ve ever done before and they’ve had nothing to show for it.

“That performance has gone so far and especially going into the summer break is really, really what we all need as a team. This performance isn’t just from my side, we really did this together.”

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2019 F1 season

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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’s 16th place ‘felt like a pole lap’ for Williams”

    1. I have been quite negative about Kubica but I am now cheering him on.
      Just follow George and stick it in front of Team Stroll please :)
      I like a good laugh.

      1. Kudos to Kubica for a valiant attempt to come back to F1, but we’ve seen enough, and feel for him. He’ll be done at the end of the season, and I hope he can retire with grace.

    2. Great drive by Russell but there is no way on any earth that Kubica is genuinely 1.3seconds slower, no way!

    3. Incredible, I know it’s been only 1 q sessiom but this is the biggest mid season one race turn around I can recall.
      We saw both racing point and williams major upgrades in germany, both were extensive. after the weekend I’d say most of us thought the racing point package was a step up and williams package insignificant. I guess those glimpses in germany fp1 were real and realised by Russels performance.
      Now I’m happy for Williams but the cynical in me cannot disregard how similar the rear end of the williams is to mercedes, it sure might explain how a team that’s been going slower year after year suddenly picked up over a second.
      Kubica pace has been embarassing but his comments have been even worse, I guess it’s not only the PU that is working Robert.

      1. I never understood why the backmarkers dont just copy the bejezus out of Mercedes.

        Being very similar toa very good team might be great for Williams.

        1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
          4th August 2019, 6:53

          @jureo I never understood why the backmarkers dont just copy the bejezus out of Mercedes.

          Have you ever seen a Chinese F-22 or F-35 clone? They’re both hunks of junk, and that’s with lots of stolen engineering drawings and technical papers.

          Reverse engineering something based on pictures is super hard. If you don’t have a good grasp of what the original design engineer was going for, it will be really hard for any engineer to understand what they’re trying to do. Sure we’ve got a general idea, but that’s not good enough.

          1. Indeed @braketurnaccelerate, I think Williams will have tried looking at what the top teams do, but like the others, just copying bits and putting them on their car, without knowing what exactly that does, isn’t really a way to get the better understanding of how to develop a/their car to get (off the back/to the front), so does not in fact solve their multi-season (decade?) slump, and lack of good progress.

            Anyway, good sign of progress; they aren’t there, but this does provide a non-oncoming-train-like light at the end of their tunnel.

    4. Clearly Russell is driving a Mercedes painted white and Kubica is driving the real Williams.

      No, sorry, just been reading too many comments from Polish fans on Twitter.

      Kudos to Russell, it was so close to Q2. I really wanted to see Kubica back in F1, but he’s not been good enough to justify it. Better drivers have got dropped for less, although I wouldn’t wish the 2019 Williams we have seen so far on anyone

    5. Well done George, but Robert is not a second slower.

    Comments are closed.