George Russell reckons twelfth was the best result he could have achieved at the British Grand Prix, particularly after losing a couple of places at the race start on Sunday afternoon.
The Williams Racing driver had started the weekend at Silverstone with a top ten appearance in Qualifying and then a ninth-place finish in the first-ever Sprint Qualifying race, but a three-place grid penalty for contact with Carlos Sainz Jr. on Saturday left him starting twelfth on the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Russell lost a couple of places at the start and was left fighting against drivers in much stronger cars than he had, so he was pleased to finish as close to the top ten as he did.
“P12 was the maximum today for us,” said Russell. “We made a poor getaway initially on the first start but a really good one on the second.
“Sadly, we had already lost a few positions. When you have 50 or 60 laps in a race the true pace of the car comes out and realistically, we are still slightly slower than Alpha Tauri, Alpine and Aston Martin right now.
“Defending from those teams was always going to be difficult but we’ve been racing in the top-12 in the last four races, fighting for points in three of them, so we are making some good progress.”
Russell says the support of the home crowd at Silverstone was amazing, and he wishes he could have that kind of support every weekend.
“It has been an amazing weekend here at Silverstone with a strong weekend and the support from the home crowd,” said Russell. “I wish it was like this every weekend!
“I am so grateful, and I hope as a team we can continue to perform and give them something to cheer about.”
“I think it was a decent race for the package we had” – Nicholas Latifi
Team-mate Nicholas Latifi had a relatively quiet race to fourteenth, with the Canadian finding it a ‘hot and physically challenging’ Grand Prix.
Latifi had started seventeenth but was able to make up some ground on Sunday, but he was never at the same kind of pace as Russell and as a result was never involved in the battle for the points-paying positions.
Despite this, Latifi feels there are some positives to take away from Silverstone, and there is plenty to build on as he moves onto the Hungarian Grand Prix next time out.
“It was a very hot and physically challenging race,” said Latifi. “It was all about managing the tyres, and we moved forward after two poor starts off the line so that is a positive.
“I think we overmanaged the first stint on the tyres, but then had to box to prevent an undercut. The last stint felt OK but it was difficult at the end to move forward and get close to other cars in the dirty air.
“I am happy overall with my performance and I think it was a decent race for the package we had. There are some positives to take away from the weekend and I’m now looking forward to Hungary.”