Williams team principal hopes Russell gets Mercedes drive

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In the round-up: Williams team principal Jost Capito says that Williams will not hold George Russell back if he is offered a Mercedes seat.

In brief

Capito: Russell has Williams’ full support to go to Mercedes

With Mercedes set to make a call on their drivers line-up for the 2022 F1 season during the summer, Capito said he believes his driver is ready to join the world champions.

“I would wish that George gets the seat because he is in the position now, in his terms of [his] career where he can handle to be at an absolute top team and fight for the championship. And I would never hold a young driver back if he can have this kind of opportunity,” Capito explained.

“So I hope, for him, that he gets this opportunity and from the team’s side, of course, we would very much love to keep him.

“If he goes to Mercedes, if he gets the offer, he gets the full support from us and if not, he gets the full support from us as well. So and that’s why, on our driver side, we can easily wait until that decision is taken. Whatever way it comes, we’ll be okay.”

Leclerc takes first F3 pole at the Hungaroring

Leclerc’s penalty won’t apply to the race he took pole for
Arthur Leclerc took pole position in qualifying for the Formula 3 round at the Hungaroring, beating title leader Dennis Hauger by 0.089 seconds in the final moments of the session. Leclerc has struggled with mechanical problems throughout his F3 season so far, retiring twice at the last round in Austria. Despite one win at Paul Ricard he trails Hauger by 89 points in ninth place.

As per F3’s 2021 format, Leclerc will start from pole position in Sunday’s race. He incurred a three-place grid penalty in the previous round at the Red Bull Ring which will apply to the partially-reversed grid for race one. Saturday’s first race will see Jonny Edgar start from pole, having qualified 12th.

Frederik Vesti was issued a three-place grid drop penalty for leading a train of cars too slowly into turns 12-14, which means having qualified seventh-fastest, he will start Saturday’s first race ninth, rather than the sixth place he would have been in from the reverse-grid format.

Chadwick on pole despite Marti challenge

Jamie Chadwick will start first on the grid for W Series’ Hungary round, after being given a much closer run to pole than might have been expected. After the 30 minutes of running, Chadwick was ahead of every other driver by seven-tenths of a second.

W Series rookie Nerea Marti, 2019 title rival Beitske Visser and Silverstone race winner Alice Powell ensured she did not take the top spot easily. In the end, Chadwick was able to put in a final, quick lap to take pole by two-and-a-half tenths of a second. A late charge by Powell saw her keep the 2021 title fight alive by qualifying second, while Marti held on to place third, Visser joining her on the second row.

Although no drivers incurred penalties during the qualifying session, former GP3 driver Vicky Piria was handed an unusual 60-second stop-go penalty, served during practice, for repeatedly exceeding track limits during the morning session.

Giovinazzi hoping to reverse Friday fortunes

Antonio Giovinazzi had a tricky free practice day, which saw him miss must of the first session due to a power unit problem.

The Alfa Romeo driver has often been quick in Friday sessions this year, frequently putting in what look like impressive times, but then being unable to replicate them in qualifying.

He said he was hoping that a more challenging Friday means he will reverse that trend today. “Overall it was a difficult day, we missed FP1 and then my best lap in FP2 was deleted,” he said. “Not a great start of the weekend.

“But I think we can do the opposite that we did always, that we were really strong on Friday and not so strong on Saturday. Hopefully we can reverse this tomorrow.”

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Comment of the day

In all the fallout from Verstappen’s Silverstone crash, the remarkable survival of his Honda power unit, although the chassis was so badly damaged parts of it were exposed following the impact, rightly astounds Bernasaurus.

Considering we’ve seen replacement PU’s just because someone went into the barriers back end first at a relatively slow speed, I never even imagined Verstappen’s PU would be salvageable at 50g straight on, especially once the wreckage was pulled out and you could see what little was left.
@Bernasaurus

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On this day in motorsport

Button marked his 200th grand prix with a win today in 2011

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 21 comments on “Williams team principal hopes Russell gets Mercedes drive”

    1. Remember well that Button win 10 years ago. What’s race that was. Time flies. It was in these changeable conditions that he was best.

      1. @dmw Yeah, he could always exactly predict when to change tyres. That’s why he found himself a lap down. Oh wait.

        Well at least he eliminated two of his main rivals and then a lot of safety cars helped him get back.

        1. No need for this, it was still a great drive and Button did flourish in changeable conditions.

        2. @f1osaurus Spoken as though your favourite driver has never taken anyone out of a race and then taken advantage of red flags, SC’s and/or changing track conditions to win….

    2. COTD; Legendary Honda reliability joins legendary “Honda Bump” in F1 as on the road.

        1. @hohum If Honda start dropping it from a crane or submerging it in water, Alex Albon might be looking at his ‘filming day’ schedule a little more anxiously.

          1. @bernasaurus Haha.

            On a more serious note regarding COTD, isn’t it usually the gearbox that has problems with a rear end impact. I can imagine it hurting the PU as well, but the gearbox is the real problem after those kind of crashes (as Max retired, I believe he is entitled to a new gearbox penalty-free)

    3. Capito seems like a very good person, also hoping russell gets the mercedes seat, so that there’s the max chance on a competitive season next year again with hamilton and russell on the same, likely competitive car, verstappen on another, leclerc on another, norris and ricciardo on another.

      1. He can only gain by backing Russell’s aspirations. If Merc offers, Russell is going.

        Reply moderated
    4. I’m not sure what Seb’s plans are for after he hangs up his racing boots, but I’d like to see him in a active role in F1 and the FIA. He has become quite a admirable presence off the track.

      1. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
        31st July 2021, 4:52

        Beyond that wouldn’t be surprised if he went the reutemann route and went into politics. Seems to be concerned for the future and committed to improving it. Have to respect that. Many say it’s wrong to criticize drivers for falling off after having kids, but I both think that’s what happened with vettel and respect him for it

        1. @realnigelmansell No matter how the rest of his career goes, he won 4 WDCs and that’s something that only a very few people can say they’ve accomplished. I suspect, and it sounds like you do to, his family has taken priority and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s made him a more rounded and interesting person. Much respect. That’s not to say he should retire after this season. He’s shown this year he is still fast on his day.

          1. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
            1st August 2021, 3:23

            Completely agree. I’ve seen other drivers, especially in nascar, fall off after they have kids but I think that should be respected. Some things are more important than driving as fast as you can. Tbh wouldn’t even be surprised if he gets another wdc. Not likely but with the reg change wouldn’t be surprised if a midfield team went straight to the top

    5. pastaman (@)
      31st July 2021, 4:04

      I hope he gets the seat too so we can stop talking about it already

    6. W Series penalties are 1000X more severe than F1 penalties. Wonder why…

      1. Probably because the cars are much slower than F1. A 5 or 10 second penalty in W-Series would therefore have a much smaller impact.

      2. Because W series isn’t so commercially focused.
        F1’s approach to rules enforcement is limp and pathetic at best.

        Reading F1’s sporting regulations and then watching an F1 race usually leaves you wondering how on earth the two are related.
        Imagine a penalty for breaching track limits in F1 practice… Everyone would think it was a joke. They don’t even enforce them properly in the race or qualifying.

    7. Re Russell: Someday this happens…
      Re F3: Nice pole by Arthur. Now for some weekend entertainment!
      Re W Series: 60 second stop-go penalty? What the heck?
      Re Grosjean tweet: “And True Survivors”.
      On this day too: Vettel saying “But I want to win” after finishing P2.

      1. The 60 seconds were served in practice I believe (i.e. You have 60 seconds + pit delta less practice time), not during the race.

    8. Wise thinking by Capito.

      Re Buxton’s tweet: I don’t see a point in covering the plate, given the car isn’t ‘his’ but a mere rental one as he resides in Switzerland, neither Hungary nor France. One of those ‘doing for the sake of it’ cases.

      Grosjean Avenue must be a joke rather than genuine.

      COTD: I agree, amazing.

      Also on this day: 2016 German GP and Ricciardo’s podium shoey debut.

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