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.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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- Ocon congratulated by past French F1 aces after breakthrough win
- ‘Wrong to award points for a couple of laps behind the Safety Car’ – Horner
- Hamilton offers “exclusive gift” to fans who attended Belgian GP wash-out
- Change rules to give points for qualifying if race can’t happen – Seidl