So Good in Qualifying, ‘Backwards’ in Race: George Russell Expresses Frustration With Williams F1 Car

Published 07/20/2021, 10:56 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


George Russell has well and truly established himself as a talented driver on the grid this season. He has taken the lackluster Williams car into Q3 more than once, even though he has been unable to capitalize on the same during the actual race. Thus, the Brit is angered to see the difference in qualifying pace and race pace of the car.

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In the Friday qualifying in Silverstone, Russell found himself in Q3 as the eight-fastest driver on the grid. The next day, at the inaugural sprint qualifying race, Williams’ pilot found himself in ninth place.

However, Russell’s dreams of scoring his first points this season were soon shattered. As he crossed the line in fourteenth place, and couldn’t bag a single point for the Grove-based outfit.

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George Russell is confused by the stark change in the pace of the Williams’ car

As quoted by Motorsport.Total, Russell said, “I don’t think we deserved a better position. On Sunday we always seem to go backwards. It’s not because we don’t do a good job on Sunday, but because we somehow always do an outstanding job in qualifying.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

“I don’t know how we always manage to be so good in qualifying. On paper we have the ninth fastest car in every single session – except in qualifying,” Russell concluded.

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Russell was awarded a three-place grid penalty for his incident with Sainz

As George was zipping around the Silverstone circuit, he hit the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. This saw the Spaniard go off-track and lose out on several positions. Hence, the FIA gave the Britoon a grid penalty for his accident during the race and saw him fall down from ninth to twelfth.

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Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Williams’ George Russell in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

He said, “I found that a bit severe. It was one of those incidents on the first lap. I locked the wheels for a moment, nothing malicious. I didn’t want to push him away or anything. And in any other corner he would have just kept going, maybe even in front of me.”

Despite impressing everyone all weekend round, the Brit went home empty-handed from Silverstone as well. He will be hoping to replicate his quali pace and carry it forward to Sunday at the upcoming race in Hungary.

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Arpit Gomes

631 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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