The Williams Racing team had a decent qualifying session as George Russell progressed to the second qualification session (Q2) at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Russell qualified in fourteenth position as he could not get a clean lap on the medium compound tyres in Q2. Nicholas Latifi finished in sixteenth position as he failed to get out of the first qualification session.
Russell has been an outstanding performer in qualification race after race this season. In his penultimate race before he moves to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team next season, Russell had to be content with fourteenth position on this really quick track as their main rivals Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN were quicker on this track.
Russell was happy with his performance and said: “I was really happy with my lap in Q1 and was pleased to get through to Q2. We ran the medium tyre for the first time since FP1 in Q2 and again, I was pretty happy with my first lap but couldn’t improve on my second effort, running slightly wide in the middle sector.
“I am relatively satisfied with P14, but we are a bit further behind Alfa Romeo than we would want to be. It is tricky out there and getting the tyres in the right window is difficult, but I do believe that is about where our car is at the moment.
“I think overtaking is going to be difficult in the Grand Prix but we will have to see on Sunday. Nobody knows how the tyres are going to react and the grip levels are pretty high. You can push relatively hard which is quite fatiguing but what we want to see in F1. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Nicholas Latifi: “I am looking forward to the challenge”
Nicholas Latifi finished in sixteenth position in qualification as he failed to make it out of the dropzone in the first qualification session. The Canadian was again outqualified by his team-mate Russell.
Latifi will have to try and make a big impact on race day. On this fast track with the walls and barriers so close, a lot of attrition is possible and can provide the Williams drivers a chance to get into the points.
Latifi after qualification said: : “We were aiming for Q2 today and it looked possible, but unfortunately, I didn’t get my second lap on the first set of tyres in, and then ran wide in Turn four which set me back a lap. I know I could have done a better job and, with an extra lap we could have found that time, but I only have myself to blame for that, so it is a bit disappointing.
“Tomorrow will be quite challenging for everyone, both physically and mentally, with the high temperature and high-speed nature of the circuit. It has been a fun track to drive so far though, so I am looking forward to the challenge.”