Russell says run to 16th felt like a "pole lap"

George Russell reckons that his qualifying run to 16th at the Hungaroring felt like "a pole lap" for Williams as it celebrated its best result on a Saturday this season.

Russell says run to 16th felt like a "pole lap"

At the end of the first qualifying session, Russell missed out on his first Q2 appearance by just 0.05s from Romain Grosjean, having been in the midfield mix throughout the weekend.

Russell explained that, although he felt that his fastest lap in third free practice was strong, initial predictions from within the Williams team suggested that the car was still some way off its competitors.

Read Also:

Regardless, Russell spent a large portion of Q1 nestled in the top 15, only dropping into the elimination zone at the end of the session.

"I felt like I did a good lap in FP3," said Russell, "and I think we were a few tenths behind the guys around us.

"I wasn't sure if they were making mistakes or what was happening; prior to that session, from the strategists and everything, we believed our true pace was about four tenths behind the next slowest.

"So to come away P16 on merit ahead of both Racing Points and Ricciardo, yeah, it really felt like a pole lap for us.

"I'm absolutely satisfied with the job I've done. Every driver on the grid, even Max probably after qualifying, probably knows there's half a tenth on the table but considering the circumstances, how much the track has changed, I really felt that we truly extracted the maximum from the tyres, from the car and from myself."

This has been the first time Williams has qualified off of the back two rows this season, and Russell's previous best was 17th in China - albeit aided by neither of Alex Albon or Antonio Giovinazzi being able to partake in qualifying.

Russell labelled his qualifying result as a morale boost for Williams, and that it was a culmination of the team's efforts throughout the season.

"The mood is quite electric at the moment, and considering our whole season to this point it's been an incredibly tough year from so many aspects, especially for the race team.

"It doesn't matter if you're at the front of the grid or the back, you still work the same hours and put as much effort.

"These guys only four years ago were getting on the front row at places and on the podium week-in, week-out. And they're working harder now than they've ever done before and they've had nothing to show for it.

"But that performance has gone so far and especially now going into the summer break, it's really what we all needed as a team. This performance isn't just from my side, we really did this together."

shares
comments
Leclerc: Q1 crash "unnecessary", "not forgivable"

Previous article

Leclerc: Q1 crash "unnecessary", "not forgivable"

Next article

Mercedes convinced Verstappen a title threat in 2019

Mercedes convinced Verstappen a title threat in 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Hungarian GP
Drivers George Russell
Teams Williams
Author Jake Boxall-Legge
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021