George Russell, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

Russell “absolutely buzzing” after claiming shock front row start for Williams

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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George Russell said he never expected to be in contention for pole position after taking a shock second place on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Williams driver reached Q3 for the third time this year and beat Lewis Hamilton by 13 thousandths of a second to join pole-winner Max Verstappen on the front row of the grid.

“I don’t know what to say, to be honest,” said Russell. “I thought I would have been doing a good job to get out of Q1 [after] how we got on yesterday.

“Now we’re standing here on the front row. I think the guys did an amazing job today. We were on the track always at the right time. The car was feeling great, I had so much confidence. So onto tomorrow now.”

Williams gambled on a set of intermediate tyres at the start of Q1 while all their rivals opted for full wet weather tyres. Russell was also among the first to run the tyres in Q3. He said the team could afford to take more risks than some of their rivals.

“I was in a fortunate position that we had nothing to lose,” he said. “We were in Q3, which is not a norm for us and we just had to go for it.

“We saved the full, maximum engine mode for the last lap. And we just thought ‘let’s go for it’.

“I’m buzzing, absolutely buzzing. But obviously, tomorrow is the important one and I’ve got to go out there and score some points.”

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2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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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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25 comments on “Russell “absolutely buzzing” after claiming shock front row start for Williams”

  1. If it wasn’t already, Bottas’ morale must be somewhere near the very bottom of the bin.

  2. Anything to say, Mr. Wolff?

  3. Now this should settle George’s future. He will spend the next 50 years at Williams.

  4. To avoid another clash with a struggling Bottas, Russell made sure to start in front of him this time.

  5. If he isn’t in the Mercedes next Season then Lewis has a Veto Obviously..

    1. Your very own invention, but an awesome drive from Russel nevertheless.

  6. Hands up who’s also happy to see Williams again on top of the time sheets :)
    Russell’s performance aside, it looks like a Williams seat might soon be very sought after. And I hope the new tech relugations for next year will also contribute to Williams’ further development and comeback to former glory.

    1. I was a Williams fan for near 30 years. I supported Williams because it was a family team founded by two engineers and only existed to go racing, then they were sold and we still don’t know who is behind Dorilton Capital. I can’t support a team when I don’t even know who the real owner is and keeps their identity secret. Happy for George though!

      1. I’ve also been a fan of the team for 30 years and am disappointed you feel you can’t support the team because Frank is no longer at the helm. Dorilton, whoever they may be, saved the team, retained the staff and have plans to build for the future. This is a huge positive in my book.

        I went out on Saturday morning proudly wearing a Williams shirt (as I do most race weekends) and I was buzzing after qualifying, it was another shot in the arm for everyone at Grove and gave all of us loyal supporters of the team a small taste of what we grew used to in the glory days (and the 2014/2015 renaissance with Bottas and Massa).

  7. Outqualifying a 7th and 4th world champions with inferior machinery and when hands matter most. What a driver. If he does not get that Mercedes, I would not be surprised if other teams try to get him.

    1. If Merc don’t (for whatever reason) sign Russell, then Red Bull might regret resigning Perez so early.

      1. If Russell is available next year, I bet any team will pay their second driver not to drive to secure Russell. That was mightily impressive performance. Not to mention his performance
        Acne had always been impressive, but this just propel him to another level.

        1. Acne= and he

  8. Absolutely brilliant from Russell. It will be a huge loss to Williams if he leaves for Mercedes. But hopefully his performances will make his vacant seat more attractive in 2022.

  9. Really hope the weather helps him score a point tomorrow. Would be amazing to get two point scores on the bounce.

  10. I´m really curious to see George at the first corner tomorrow. He really has nothing to loose.

    If I was him, I would just dive into La Source and get the lead at any cost.

    1. @becken-Lima nah….better to have the tow through Radillon and along the Kemmel straight for a clean overtake into Les Combes 😊

    2. If he is allowed to race Lewis by toto.
      I guess he just is allowed to put pressure on verstappen and end way after Lewis.

    3. Well he has the perfect spot to do “Bottas” and take out Verstappen

  11. Rain is about all we have to equalize machineries and let the great drivers shine. About 90% of the races are dry and it should be the other way around. Where are BE’s sprinklers?

  12. To produce such a lap in a Williams, he left himself absolutely no margin for error. A brilliant and extremly brave drive.
    Russel and Norris, what a generation of drivers!
    I hope no team is dominant in the next era, and we see them fighting on merit with Ham, Ver, Alo and Lec for victories.

    1. Indeed, would be great.

    2. Ops, meant there was norris missing in answer to this comment.

    3. Nevermind, only read part of the comment, they’re already included in your phrase.

  13. Oh, and missing norris!

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