George Russell will start Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying race from eighth on the grid after some superb lap during Friday evening’s Qualifying session at Silverstone.
Buoyed on by his home fans, the Williams Racing driver recovered from being bottom of the timing sheets in the one and only practice session earlier in the day to not only escape Q1, but also to make it into Q3 for the second consecutive race weekend.
Russell was then able to outqualify both Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team’s Sebastian Vettel to ensure a position on row four of the grid for Saturday’s first-ever sprint race.
“It was our best qualifying session, and to do it in front of a home crowd was such an amazing feeling,” said Russell. “This morning in FP1 I had no confidence with the car, and here we are in P8!
“Following practice, we had a decision to make to try and improve the car or stick to our guns and hope the track came towards us, which it did. Everything got in a much nicer window and I felt confident and comfortable out there which allowed me to get that extra tenth or two.
“Ultimately, we did a fantastic job to get there and it is about tomorrow now. It is not going to be easy, but we need to be aggressive and get on the front foot.”
“When I finished the lap, I was happy and then frustrated” – Nicholas Latifi
Team-mate Nicholas Latifi was unable to match the kind of pace shown by Russell, and he was again eliminated in Q1 and will start only eighteenth on Saturday.
The Canadian felt he could have found more time in the car had he found a better balance, particularly when he felt the lap that was only good enough for a place on row nine was a good one.
“The car was feeling good and I could have done a better lap if the car balance had been in a slightly better window but overall, I am quite pleased,” said Latifi. “When I finished the lap, I was happy and then frustrated.
“Happy as a I felt it was a good lap but frustrated that it was slow. We have both the Sprint Qualifying and the Grand Prix itself to move forwards and we have FP2 to try and see if we can improve the issue, so that’s what we are going to focus on.”