Difficult Friday in Imola for George
A difficult day for George and the Mercedes team as he qualifies in P11 ahead of Formula One’s Sprint in Imola.
With soaking wet conditions in FP1, George took to the track on the Wet compound Pirelli tyres, placing himself into P11 on his first run as he began reacquainting himself with the iconic Italian circuit.
As the track conditions began to improve, George switched to the Intermediate tyres, putting in his best lap time of 1.34.262 to move himself into P9.
A brief red flag for the McLaren of Lando Norris halted any running, preventing George from improving as he ended FP1 in P10.
Moving into qualifying and with the track continuing to dry, George began Q1 on the Intermediate tyres as he placed himself into P2 on his first run.
Returning to the pits to switch onto the Soft tyres, George prepared for his flying run but a red flag for Alex Albon sent all the drivers back into the pits with 12 minutes remaining.
Once the session resumed, George fought to secure his place in Q2 after being pushed down into the elimination zone, finally claiming P12 and a spot in Q2 in the final moments of the session.
In Q2, George was quick to return to the track to put in a 1.20.757 lap time and place into P11 before the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz stopped track action once again.
With the rain beginning to fall as the track was cleared, George and the team opted not to return to the track for the remainder of the session, ending the day in P11.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
We've struggled to get the temperature in the tyre in the first few races, we're always seemingly taking a bigger jump on the second lap. We saw that in Australia when we compare to the Alpines and the McLarens; they were a first lap qualifier, and we were on the third or fifth lap doing a fast consecutive sequence. It was a bit of a shame with how the red flags panned out today but if there is a weekend to not be where we want to be, a sprint weekend is the one to do it. Not ideal, but we've got the chance to make up positions tomorrow. The Sprint Race will be interesting with these new cars as we can follow a bit closer, but I don't think there's enough laps with enough degradation for us to use our advantage there compared to our current rivals. We've got the Sunday race as well and we can only go up.
FP2 for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will get underway at 11:30am BST on Saturday, April 23.