Russell "not sure" if Silverstone F1 sprint race will be good for Williams

George Russell is uncertain that the inaugural Formula 1 sprint race at Silverstone next weekend will play to Williams’ advantage, but hopes the new format could still provide an “opportunity”.

The British Grand Prix will mark the first running of F1’s new weekend format that will see a 100km race take place on Saturday afternoon in the normal qualifying slot.

The traditional qualifying format will be used for a session on Friday afternoon to set the grid for the sprint race, the result of which will then form the final starting order for the grand prix on Sunday.

Sprint races will take place at three grands prix in 2021 as part of a trial by F1 that could be expanded for the future depending on its success.

A capacity crowd is set to be welcomed to Silverstone next weekend thanks to the race’s addition to the UK government’s Event Research Programme, with a bumper crowd of 140,000 expected for race day.

While Russell was relishing the opportunity to race in front of his home crowd for only the second time - last year’s British Grand Prix took place behind closed doors - he felt the sprint race may not work in Williams’ favour given it has been weaker on Sundays than Saturdays.

“Silverstone's going to be an even bigger crowd [than Austria] and I'm sure they're going to be buzzing for it - probably after England have won the Euros as well, so they're going to be happy about that,” Russell said. “Obviously, there’s the sprint qualifying as well. I'm not too sure that will play into our favour, because obviously we're normally a bit better on the quali performance than we are in the race.

“But we've got to give it a chance and maybe it goes the other way. It's new for everybody, and that also gives an opportunity.”

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Russell led Williams into Q3 for the first time since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix in Austria last weekend, starting the race from eighth place on the grid.

He had managed to qualify 11th one week earlier and was again in the running for points until a power unit issue forced him to retire from the race.

Read Also:

Russell said after the second race at the Red Bull Ring that he took “massive” confidence from the team’s performances in Austria, believing Williams was currently maximising the FW43B package.

“I feel so at one with the car and the team at the moment, and we're really getting everything out of the package, which I think is so important,” Russell said. “Especially on a Saturday, the pressure's on, if you make one small mistake you're penalised and it shows obviously in the course of the race. Everybody gets into a rhythm and that true pace comes out.

“We're all doing a really good job and it's so close. P12 in France, P8 last week before we retired, P11 today - all of which every single top team and car finished."

shares
comments

Related video

How to become a Strategy Engineer in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more

Previous article

How to become a Strategy Engineer in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more

Next article

How F1’s biggest 2021 update shows Aston Martin’s ambition

How F1’s biggest 2021 update shows Aston Martin’s ambition
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021