Russell explains "Pastor Maldonado moment" in qualifying

Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell revealed he had a “Pastor Maldonado moment" when he ran wide before starting his first flying lap in Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying.

Russell explains "Pastor Maldonado moment" in qualifying

The 23-year-old Briton, who will start 12th on the grid at Imola, was switching to his Mercedes power unit’s push mode in Q1 when he got sideways and ran across the gravel. He was trying to leave the change to the last possible moment in order to gain the maximum benefit over his flying lap.

Reflecting on the concentration lapse, he compared himself to former Williams driver Maldonado, who made 58 F1 starts for the team between 2011 and 2013 in an eventful grand prix career that is remembered as much for the Venezuelan's proclivity for incidents as his one-lap speed.

"It's no secret that Mercedes are struggling a bit with the battery deployment, and every single metre gives you a metre at the end of the lap," Russell explained. “So I wanted to go into that mode as late as possible, as in halfway through the corner, before I picked up the power.

“Tyres were a bit cold, I wasn't fully concentrated. It contributed to a Pastor Maldonado moment!"

Read Also:

Russell was able to recover later in the session and he progressed to Q2 in 14th place, although he only just got round in time to beat the chequered flag.

"I only crossed the flag by two seconds, I believe, two or three seconds," he revealed. "I had Danny [Ricciardo] right behind me. He was planning to overtake me with the DRS.

“And due to the straightline speed I could stay ahead of him - I managed to speed up and stay ahead of him. Very relieved, but it was a good lap.”

Russell subsequently ran a very strong lap on medium tyres at the start of Q2. He felt so comfortable that he was tempted to have another run on mediums, but the team opted to save a new set for the race. He thus went out on softs and logged 12th place on the grid.

“I actually wanted to do my second set on the medium tyre because I was P10 at the time, or P11, with a medium, which was quite surprising," he said. "We obviously opted for the soft, and improved by three-tenths.

“It was still a very good lap, so all in all, really happy with Q2 to be in P12. It was better than expected before the session."

Read Also:

Russell is confident that he can make amends for last year’s disappointment at Imola, when he lost a potential points finish with a crash under the safety car.

“I'd say the car is looking better for race trim than it is in quali trim," he said. "We've got we've got fastest car on the straight, so it's all looking promising. But this is the true pace of the car.

“This may be one of our better circuits, but this is where I hope and expect to be for most of the season, in the mid-range of Q2 and hopefully at points fighting for Q3."

shares
comments

Related video

Allison doesn't want Mercedes F1 team boss role - Wolff
Previous article

Allison doesn't want Mercedes F1 team boss role - Wolff

Next article

Bottas 'couldn't trust rear-end' of Mercedes car in Imola Q3

Bottas 'couldn't trust rear-end' of Mercedes car in Imola Q3
Load comments
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022