It has been six years since George Russell last drove at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello circuit, but the Briton is excited to race there in Formula 1 this weekend for round nine of the season, the Tuscan Grand Prix.
The Williams Racing driver, still seeking his first point in the sport since his debut at the beginning of 2019, says the Mugello circuit should suit the FW43 than the last two weekends at Spa-Francorchamps and the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, and he says he will be again giving it his all to get the best possible result for the team.
“I am really excited to drive at Mugello,” said Russell. “I drove there six years ago, and it was one the best tracks I have ever driven. It will be incredibly physical for all of the drivers out there with the extremely high speeds.
“This circuit should suit us more than the last two so I will be going there and giving it my all and hope for a good weekend.”
Team-mate Nicholas Latifi finished eleventh last weekend at Monza, equalling his best result of the season, and like Russell has experienced Mugello before, albeit 2014 being his last time running at the circuit.
The Canadian says it is always nice to experience new venues, with Mugello playing host to its very first Grand Prix this weekend after being brought in following a multitude of postponements and cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mugello is going to be a new experience for Formula 1, and one that we would not have been going to under normal circumstances,” said Latifi. “Last time I was here was in 2014 for a test day, prior to that I raced there in my first year in 2012 so it has been a while.
“I think it is going to be a very intense track for these current F1 cars, as it is very high speed and a real neck killer. I am looking forward to the challenge as it is always nice to drive on new tracks, or ones that we haven’t been to in a while.
“It will be a fresh challenge and we will be pushing to keep up with the improvements that we have been making all year.”
“The nature of Mugello should be more suited to our car” – Dave Robson
Dave Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, says Mugello is a ‘stunning venue’ to round off the third triple-header of 2020, and it is a great track to host what will be Scuderia Ferrari’s one-thousandth Grand Prix.
Williams are the only team not yet to have scored a point in 2020 but like his drivers, Robson believes Mugello should suit the car more than in the last two rounds, and after the positive result at Monza with Latifi’s eleventh place, there is high hopes of a strong performance this weekend.
“This week we assemble in Tuscany at the first of the new venues on the 2020 calendar,” said Robson. “Mugello hosts its first ever Formula 1 race this weekend and is a stunning venue to end this latest triple-header and a fitting one for Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix.
“Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello will be new to both the fans and many people within Formula 1 despite it previously being used as a Formula 1 test track. However, very quickly the teams, drivers and fans will come to appreciate what a fantastic track it is.
“The fast sweeping corners and significant elevation changes will be hard on the tyres and will demand significant downforce and grip. The single DRS zone may make overtaking a little difficult, but at 800m, it is one of the longest of the season and may be enough to allow drivers to get an advantage before braking for T1.
“We battled hard in the race at Monza, and although the nature of the circuit didn’t suit the car very well, we secured a good final result. The nature of Mugello, which has some parallels with Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring, should be more suited to our car.
“Even though many teams will have access to track simulations and previous data, the Free Practice sessions are still likely to be busy as the drivers begin to understand the nuances of this great circuit.”