In a surprising turn of events, Nicholas Latifi out-qualified team-mate George Russell at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Canadian lines up sixteenth with the British driver in seventeenth at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Latifi proved that Williams Racing have nothing to worry about next season, after out-qualifying the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team bound Russell. Latifi will take some satisfaction from beating his team-mate but is disappointed not to have made Qualifying Two.
The Canadian believes more was possible but is feeling good ahead of the last race of the year.
“I think we were hoping for more on track today as the car felt decent. It’s rare that neither of us make it to Q2, it’s the minimum goal so to not achieve that as a team is frustrating. There are definitely things we could have improved; my lap time could have been better and we struggled a bit with traffic ahead of that last lap. It’s always an issue in Abu Dhabi when everyone is trying to get position in the final sector.
“It means you arrive at Turn One not really knowing what the car will do when you hit the brakes, so I expect we could have found some extra time there. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow, it’s a long race and the new layout should improve overtaking.”
“The tyres weren’t quite ready” – George Russell
George Russell’s final qualifying for Williams definitely didn’t go as he would’ve hoped. Mr Saturday failed to qualify ahead of his team-mate, let alone make it into Qualifying Two. It was possibly one of his weakest qualifying sessions of the year, Russell will be determined to overcome his poor qualifying in the final race of his current Williams journey.
The British driver believes he definitely had the pace for Qualifying Two, had it not been for his tyres not being at peak condition.
“The car was feeling great on our flying laps and I was really confident that we could progress into Q2. We went for one push lap at the end and unfortunately, the tyres weren’t quite ready so we didn’t improve our best time and that was a shame. However, the points are scored tomorrow and the most important thing is to secure P8 in the Constructors’ Championship. I believe we can achieve that, but we know it’s not over until it’s over. We will be doing everything we can to finish ahead of Alfa Romeo.”