George Russell produced another brilliant Sunday performance at the Russian Grand Prix, claiming a further point for his and Williams Racing’s tallies after tenth place finish at the Sochi Autodrom. Nicholas Latifi retired in the closing stages.
Russell who started third did brilliantly to maintain the position for the opening phase of the race, the British driver dropped down the field however after being forced into an early pit-stop by fourth place runner Lance Stroll. Russell had to pit to cover the undercut, something which he failed to do due to the supreme power of the undercut at the Russian venue.
Russell then sat outside the points for the majority of the race, until the heavens opened. Williams timed Russell’s switch to Intermediates perfectly, managing to overtake those who risked an extra couple laps on the dry tyres. By the end of the chaotic finish Russell found himself crossing the line in tenth.
Latifi on the other hand had a frustrating race after starting towards the back due to an engine penalty, the Canadian struggled to make any progress and then when the rain came he span round and slid into the barrier. This broke his rear wing leading to a safe call by the team to retire the car. A disappointing end to Latifi’s weekend.
Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson is incredibly proud of the hard work demonstrated by the time after another points finish.
“We went into today’s race hoping to hold on at the front but fearing that the quicker cars behind would make our race difficult. We had a reasonable start but couldn’t make the progress before turn two that we had hoped to do. Nonetheless, George was able to settle into a good rhythm and hold P3 without the leaders getting too far ahead. On the Prime, George did another fantastic job of managing the car and we were set for a points finish in the dry.
“The shower that came across the circuit towards the end presented an opportunity for George and we called the switch to Intermediate tyres well. Unfortunately, following a very successful qualifying session yesterday, we had only used tyres left and so we had to fight hard to hold on to 10th place.
“Another points finish is an excellent result and fair reward for the hard work throughout the Team. It is a shame that Nicholas had to retire but following damage to the car when he was on his in-lap for Intermediates, we had to retire him. Until that point, he was doing very well and showing excellent pace. Sadly, his grid penalty stopped him from using that raw pace to get into a points-scoring position and then he was simply unfortunate with where he was on the track as the rain began to intensify.
“The Sochi Autodrom is always a challenging place to race and we are pleased with our return on what could’ve been a very difficult weekend. The team operated very well throughout and both drivers showed some excellent pace. Another Championship point moves us closer to Aston Martin and limits the damage in our tight battle with Alfa Romeo.
“Finally, it was a privilege to see Lewis score his 100th career victory; an incredible achievement even for a driver of Lewis’s immense ability and dedication. Congratulations to him and his entire team.”