George Russell secured yet another points finish, after strategic masterclass by Williams Racing at the Italian Grand Prix, team-mate Nicholas Latifi just misses out on making it a double points finish in eleventh.
It was all about being in the right place at the right time for Russell at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. The British driver didn’t think points would be possible going into the race, however an excellent strategy by the Williams team meant he found himself in ninth place come the end of it.
The team made the right call to pit Russell as the safety car came out for Lewis Hamilton’s and Max Verstappen’s huge crash, gaining the British driver a couple of places whilst in the pit-lane. This elevated Russell from outside the points, up into ninth place in an Alpine F1 Team sandwich. From then on it was just about managing the gap to Esteban Ocon behind which Russell did beautifully, to secure yet another points finish for his quickly growing tally.
Russell recognises that the team got fortunate with being in the right place at the right time but will happily take the points, the British driver hopes the team can keep the momentum going.
“We were on the track in the right place at the right time when the Safety Car came out and gained a couple of positions in the pitlane. The last stint after that was then really strong with Alonso ahead of me and Ocon behind me and we managed to maintain the gap. We’ve now scored points at three of the last four races which at one point seemed pretty unbelievable.
“We got a little bit fortunate with all the incidents today but again we put ourselves in the right position and were there to capitalise. At the end of the day we’ve beaten an Alpine, an Aston Martin, and both Alfa Romeos so we just need to keep this momentum going. I also want to say a massive well done to McLaren. Daniel and Lando are really great guys and a one-two for them is pretty epic.”
“It is never nice to finish P11” – Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi finished in the most frustrating position of them all, eleventh. The Canadian drove a strong race at Monza but was unlucky with the timing of the safety car. Latifi pitted for fresh tyres three laps before the safety car came out, meaning those who were running a longer first stint were able to capitalise on the safety car a few laps later.
This dropped Latifi behind his team-mate and Ocon, both of which were on fresher tyres and therefore had faster cars. Had it not been for the safety car Latifi was looking strong for a points finish, the Canadian is frustrated to have come so close to points but is overall happy with his performance.
“It was a very tough, but positive race. It is never nice to finish P11 but I am happy with the performance, as this is normally one of my weaker tracks. We got unlucky with the timing of the Safety Car and then lost out to George, and Esteban was the quicker car with fresh tyres.
“I think if we had no Safety Car, running in the points, I think we would have stayed there as we were quite comfortable up until then. Overall, it is a good result for the team as we didn’t think we would be in a position to be challenging for points today.”