Formula 1’s new sprint qualifying format reduced the potential for action in the grand prix, George Russell believes.
Russell had mixed feelings about the revised format, which included an earlier qualifying session on Friday afternoon.
“I definitely enjoyed having qualifying on Friday,” he said. “I thought that was fun just to get straight into the action.
“But I feel like the sprint race only benefit the guys who had a bad qualifying and naturally just brings everybody back to their true pace. So if anything it only makes Sunday more predictable.”
Russell started the sprint qualifying race from eighth on the grid and finished ninth. But he was given a three-place penalty for a collision with Carlos Sainz Jnr, which meant he started the grand prix 12th. He finished the race in the same position, and doubted the Williams was competitive enough to finish any higher.
“The cars behind were three, four, five, six tenths quicker than us,” he explained. “When you’ve got that sort of pace advantage it’s easy.
“They seemed to be better on the tyres than us as well so it was always going to be a race of looking in the mirrors and trying to keep these cars at bay. So we would’ve taken P12 before the weekend, I think that’s a fair result, and we probably didn’t really deserve to be any higher than that.
“It always seems to be the case that we’re going backwards on a Sunday. I don’t think it’s because we doing a bad job on a Sunday. It’s just because we somehow did an excellent job in qualifying, so that’s a little bit tricky.”
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