George Russell says “it was nice to be racing other drivers” in the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix after his best qualifying result saw him to a sixteenth place finish in Sunday’s race.
Russell had been the star of qualifying at the Hungaroring, narrowly missing out on a spot in Q2 and showing considerably more competitive pace than Williams Racing had been able to demonstrate throughout the first half of the 2019 season.
Starting the race from sixteenth, Russell continued his new-found competitive form in the early stages of the race, overtaking both Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat on lap one.
Both Magnussen and Kvyat recovered their positions later in the race but Russell was able to stay ahead of both Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi as well as his team-mate Robert Kubica to finish sixteenth.
It may not have been Russell’s best finish of the year but the British rookie remains adamant that Williams have “made a good step forward.”
“Yesterday [Saturday, qualifying] definitely exceeded expectations, so it was a little bit back to reality today,” said Russell after the race.
“I had a good first lap and made up two positions on Magnussen and Kvyat at turn four and five, which was pretty fun. It was nice to be racing other drivers.
“We’ve still got work to do but there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend. We’ve made a good step forward.”
Despite getting the better of team-mate Kubica yet again, Russell remains bottom of the drivers’ standings on zero points, one place behind Kubica courtesy of the Pole’s sole point gained in Germany.
Likewise, Williams remain tenth in the constructors’ standings, twenty-five points behind ninth place.