George Russell, Williams, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Williams banking on top speed advantage to fight Aston Martin for points

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Williams’s head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, believes George Russell has a “good chance” in today’s Portuguese Grand Prix after qualifying 11th on the grid “on merit”.

Russell’s best ever qualifying performance in the Williams saw him miss out on reaching Q3 by less than half a tenth of a second.

Despite admitting it was “disappointing” to have been denied such a milestone achievement, Robson is optimistic about the team’s chances during this afternoon’s race.

“If we’re being really, really honest and pragmatic about it with the view for this afternoon, I think I think P11 is a pretty good starting place with a free choice of tyre and brand new ones to start the race with. If we’re there on merit, then we’ve got a good chance this afternoon.”

Robson pointed to the slippery Williams’ top speed advantage as a crucial factor to help Russell move forward in the race, as well as help keep rival cars behind him.

“He’s got a good chance,” says Robson.

“Certainly on Friday we were quick in a straight line. I think typically the car was both in Bahrain and in Imola. So that’s quite a good feature of this car.

“I think it will help him at this circuit because that last corner is not quite a corner, but it’s flat. So effectively the drag starts kicking in at the exit of turn 14. I think it will be an advantage to both, defending and hopefully useful for attacking as well.

“I think yesterday the Aston Martins were quite slow on the straights. So with Vettel just ahead of us, there’s definitely some opportunity. So, yeah, I think he’s got a good chance. Anything that he can get at the start, hopefully he can hang onto on the straights.”

Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

5 comments on “Williams banking on top speed advantage to fight Aston Martin for points”

  1. Unfortunately, the race track featured some turns.

    1. Ahah, that’s a good one!

  2. They were fighting the Haas instead of the Aston Martin…

  3. Williams and Haas might struggle to keep up with F2…

  4. Guess Monza might be William’s only realistic chance then.. Don’t see them any better than Haas on circuits which require aero performance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.