Russell Seeking Downforce Increases to Improve Williams’ Competitiveness

by Paul Hensby

George Russell was pleased with his performance during his first Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday as the Mercedes-Benz protégé finished sixteenth for Williams Racing.

On his first competitive visit to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 2017 GP3 Series and 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion felt he made the most out of the package given to him by Williams this weekend, although they were still the slowest team on outright pace throughout.

Russell did finish ahead of Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen, but what the Briton wants going forward is some more downforce for his FW42 in order to bring the team closer to their midfield rivals and closer to the top ten, something the team have failed to be in at any point of 2019 so far.

“The car was feeling relatively nice to drive and we made the most of the package,” said Russell.  “We now need to bolt some downforce on it and hopefully we will find some lap time.

“Overall, I was pleased with my performance today and we made the most of the situation.”

Whereas Russell was relatively positive, team-mate Robert Kubica was less so, feeling the whole race weekend was a difficult one for him.  The Pole admitted the handling of his Mercedes-powered FW42 was difficult as he suffered with grip issues throughout, resulting in an eighteenth-place finish.

“Unfortunately, there is no magic,” said Kubica.  “Yesterday the handling was difficult, but today was harder. I had no grip with high fuel, hotter conditions and longer stints.

“Overall grip is missing, we know it’s like this, so we are not able to push.”

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