George Russell admitted to going into Qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Saturday ‘quite blind’ after a significant amount of track time was lost due to his Friday morning crash caused by him running over a dislodged manhole cover and damaging the chassis of his FW42.
The Williams Racing driver missed all of Friday’s two practice sessions as a result so had his first real running of the Baku City Circuit during Saturday morning’s one-hour final practice session, but showed his potential in style by eclipsing once again team-mate Robert Kubica.
Russell finished nineteenth fastest ahead of his team-mate, who blotted his session by crashing into the barriers at turn eight in the closing moments as he attempted to push that little bit harder to get back ahead of the reigning FIA Formula 2 champion.
Russell will head into race day knowing there is a long race ahead, but he acknowledges the need to stay out of trouble in a race often affected by crashes and safety car interventions, with the Briton aiming to make the most of any situation that presents itself.
“I went into qualifying quite blind after missing all the running yesterday,” said Russell. “Baku is a circuit that requires a lot confidence for you to maintain your momentum.
“From a personal perspective, I felt comfortable during qualifying and got the most out of the package. It’s been a tough weekend and will be a long race tomorrow, but we must stay positive and keep making the most of the situation.”