George Russell admitted it was a tricky Friday for Williams Racing at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, although the Briton was able to make it into Q2 for a thirteenth time in fourteen races.
Initially it had looked as though Russell would miss out on Q2 as he was edged down to sixteenth place, but Yuki Tsunoda’s final flying lap was deleted as the Japanese racer exceeded track limits at the final turn.
Russell was able to improve on his time in Q2, but he was unable to better fifteenth on the grid, and he goes into the rest of the weekend expecting it to be tough for him to be a points contender.
“It has been a really tricky day, and we aren’t quite as competitive here as we would have hoped,” said Russell. “Since we hit the ground with FP1 we weren’t in the right window with the car and that really compromises you on a weekend like this.
“We did a really good job executing qualifying though and the team got me in the right position on track, but today just wasn’t meant to be. I think we are in a better position for the Sprint Qualifying tomorrow than we were today, but generally I think it’s going to be a tough weekend.
“However, we need to build momentum and see what we can achieve.”
“It’s frustrating to miss out on Q2 when the margins were so small” – Nicholas Latifi
Team-mate Nicholas Latifi was eliminated in Q1, but the Canadian believes the compromises the team made to the set-up of his car will help him when it comes to the races.
Latifi was unable to make it into Q2, missing out to Russell by just 0.035 seconds, and like his team-mate he felt the car was not feeling as good as it could have on Friday. Even though improvements were made to it in between practice and Qualifying, it was not enough to advance into the second phase.
“The car wasn’t feeling great in FP1, and only having one practice session makes things tricky but I think we did manage to make some good changes ahead of qualifying and car did feel much better,” said Latifi. “Ultimately, as we saw last year, this isn’t a track that really suits our car and we could have done some things better in the qualifying session.
“It’s frustrating to miss out on Q2 when the margins were so small. We did make some compromises to our pace today which will hopefully put us in a better in a better position tomorrow, and this is a track that you can overtake at, so we’ll see what we can do in Sprint Qualifying.”