George Russell ‘Looks Into Data’ as Alfa Romeo Surprises in Testing

Published 03/20/2021, 1:43 PM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


George Russell was surprised by how the Alfa Romeo performed during pre-season testing. The team put in 442 laps around the circuit, which made Russell believe they would be better than Williams.

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While the British driver doesn’t want to speculate too much about the season ahead, he was already impressed by veteran driver Kimi Raikkonen. The Iceman put the fourth fastest lap on the track during the test.

Alfa Romeo and Williams are usually at the back of the grid. The former scored 8 points last season, while the Grove-based unit didn’t score a single point. However, if Alfa Romeo keeps performing the way they do, they could put a fight against the Williams.

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NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: George Russell of Great Britain and Williams prepares to drive in the garage during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

George Russell was amazed at how the Alfa Romeo team performed

In an interview with Crash.net as quoted by PlanetF1, he said, “Kimi looked very, very fast. I have to give him credit. I need to look deeper into the data, but I would say at the moment they look like the most surprising team.”

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – DECEMBER 06: Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy driving the (99) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Russell added, “I can’t honestly tell you where I think we are in comparison because I’ve only been out with the car for an hour and a half and I’ve been deep in debriefs until literally half-past eight but on the face of things, Kimi looked very, very fast.”

Russell knows it will be tough to close the gap

Williams has been struggling in the back of the grid for some time now, but impressive performances by Russell gave the team some hope. However, the British driver still knows there is a lot of work to do.

The 23-year-old said, “These conditions sort of brought out the worst in this car, and we anticipated that before, so there’s no signs as yet that we’ve closed the gap.” 

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

But I think there will be a big swing for us, I think you will see quite a yo-yo effect for us this season. I think we’ll be faster at events and maybe very slow at others. And as I said, these conditions in these past three days are the worst conditions we’d like to see for our race car.” he concluded.

The Grove-based team has a talented lineup in Russell and Latifi, but can they make the most out of their new car and score some points for their team? We will soon find out once the season goes underway.

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Arpit Gomes

293 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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