Formula 1

“The tyres were always going to be pushed to their limit” – George Russell

2 Mins read
Credit: Williams Racing

It was an unfortunate end to the Qatar Grand Prix for both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, after both Williams Racing drivers suffered sudden front-left punctures. Russell eventually finished in seventeenth whereas Latifi retired from the race.

Russell started the race in fifteenth and opted for an aggressive one-stop strategy at the Losail International Circuit. The track was expected to be hard on tyres due to it’s fast flowing corners but no one could’ve predicted the quantity of punctures which would occur.

Russell suffered his puncture on lap forty-eight, which immediately ended his hopes of a good finish. Russell knew the tyres were going to be pushed and was disappointed for his race to have been affected by it.

“We had an aggressive strategy today and we were trying to push our final stint as long as possible. With the really high-speed right-hand corners at this circuit, the tyres were always going to be pushed to their limit but we had to be that aggressive to be in the fight with the Alfa Romeos.

“Unfortunately, the left front tyre punctured a few laps from the end so it’s one of those things. It was a shame for our race to end that way but ultimately, it’s nothing gained nothing lost, as our nearest rivals didn’t score any points.”

“I had no idea that the tyre was about to suffer a puncture” – Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Latifi too suffered a sudden tyre failure, the Canadian was left completely shocked by the puncture after feeling comfortable on the tyres. Latifi’s puncture on lap fifty only two laps after Russell’s. His puncture though occurred as he went past the pit-lane in unfortunate circumstances, Latifi was left will only one option which was to pull over and retire the car.

Latifi believes that despite the puncture, his strategy was worth the risk as they had already lost track position to their rivals.

“We tried to make the one-stop work knowing that it would be on the limit with tyres, but we thought we could manage it as a strategy call. The surprising thing was that I had no idea that the tyre was about to suffer a puncture, so unfortunately, we weren’t able to adjust our strategy in time. Even once George had to pit again, I still thought that I’d be able to finish the race on my current set as they felt absolutely fine.

“Overall, I think the strategy was worth the risk, especially once we’d lost track position to the Alfa Romeos, because we couldn’t have done anything more. It’s a shame that the race didn’t work out as the car felt really good around this circuit, but that’s how things go sometimes.”

Credit: Williams Racing
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