Russell thought he was on course for points in Monaco

George Russell says he and his Williams Formula 1 team thought he was on course for points at one stage in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Russell thought he was on course for points in Monaco

Russell outqualified Robert Kubica, taking the penultimate slot on the grid, but fell behind his teammate on the first lap.

He then pitted for hard tyres - which meant he did not have to stop again - at the same time as the frontrunners, when the safety car was deployed after a puncture for the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

After Antonio Giovinazzi tagged Kubica into a spin on lap 15, Russell slipped by them both to run behind Nico Hulkenberg's Renault in a train of cars following in the wake of McLaren's Lando Norris.

Such was the slow pace of the frontrunners at this point that Russell's engineers briefly thought a points finish might be possible - before that hope evaporated as a gap created between the leaders and the rest of the pack.

"It could have turned out even better," Russell, who finished 15th, told Motorsport.com.

"One of the guys was bunching everybody up in the pack and holding us up, unfortunately, but there was one point where we thought we were going to be ahead of [Carlos] Sainz in P6.

"From my side I was really happy with the race, we weren't really fighting for anything in the final half of the race but I wanted to treat it like we were, because I've got to test myself and put it on the limit so that when the time comes and we are fighting, I know what to expect.

"I was giving it everything out there and I think the times were fairly decent."

Russell's 15th place was still an encouraging result for a team that had expected to struggle on the unforgiving street circuit.

Kubica said after practice on Thursday that Monaco's characteristics highlighted the shortcomings of Williams's troubled FW42, which proved to be "slower than we wanted, and maybe what we expected".

Russell said after the race he was delighted with Williams's performance.

"I don't want to say we overperformed but I think we maximised the job," he said. "It was great to get so many laps under my belt, really pushing my limits.

"There was one point where my engineer came on the radio and said I was lapping at the same pace as the leader."

shares
comments
Ferrari drops Mission Winnow branding for two more races

Previous article

Ferrari drops Mission Winnow branding for two more races

Next article

Ferrari is self-destructive, Renault is all talk

Ferrari is self-destructive, Renault is all talk
Load comments
How Ferrari has brought the best from F1's smooth operator Prime

How Ferrari has brought the best from F1's smooth operator

As a young boy, Carlos Sainz was schooled by his father in the special folklore surrounding Ferrari in Formula 1. Now an established grand prix ace – and a Ferrari driver to boot – Sainz opens up to BEN ANDERSON about driving for the team of his childhood hero, and of his own boyhood dreams

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars Prime

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars

OPINION: The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix may not have been a thrill-a-minute overtaking fest, but it's a race that will live long in the memory as one of the best of the current era of Formula 1. And as Formula 1 moves to regulations in 2022 aimed at boosting overtaking, Hungary showed the balance it must strike with its new machinery as not to deny similarly tense spectacles

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Prime

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2021
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021