George Russell, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Russell expects to struggle at Spa and Monza with “draggy” Williams

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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George Russell doesn’t expect a competitive showing from Williams at the next two races on highly power-sensitive tracks, despite the strength of their Mercedes engines.

Spa-Francorchamps, which the championship will visit this weekend, and next week’s venue Monza, are the most demanding venues on the calendar for power unit performance. But despite the team’s Mercedes power advantage, Russell said he is not confident of his chances at these two circuits.

“Even though we have the strongest engine in the back, we are by far the draggiest car on the grid,” he explained.

“That is why you’ve seen us go really strong in Budapest in the last two years because it is not a power-sensitive circuit as such. Even though we have a lot of power, we’re not really utilising it because we have so much drag on the car.

“Compared to the Racing Point and the Mercedes we are a huge margin, amount of speed, down on them, purely because the car is so draggy. So even though on paper you think, well, we have a Mercedes, we should be flying in Spa and Monza, it’s not the case because unfortunately aerodynamically we have a really poor efficiency in the car. That will actually make it pretty tough for us.”

Williams has enjoyed a much more competitive start to the 2020 F1 season than last year. Russell, who has reached Q2 more often than not so far this season, says being able to race with rival teams “adds motivation for all of us” at Williams.

“We don’t want to be here fighting for the latter positions. But the fact that we are on par with the Haas and the Alfas – they probably still just have the legs on us, but they are really within striking distance – it adds that extra motivation to me as a driver, the team, to really try and get everything out of it.

“It’s going to keep allowing everybody to push further to try and get us back into the B-class category. At the moment we’re in the C-class along with Haas and Alfa. We still need to keep pushing to get to the B-class. But obviously the Mercedes and Red Bull are just in the league of their own at the moment.”

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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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2 comments on “Russell expects to struggle at Spa and Monza with “draggy” Williams”

  1. I feel like there’s Formula 1, 1.2, 1.5 and 1.7.

    Who wants to start the reddit groups for the other two?

    1. The mods even considered demoting Albon to F1.5.
      @justrhysism

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