Difficult Saturday in Spa for George
George ends a difficult qualifying in P8 but due to penalties will start the Belgian Grand Prix from P5.
With the unpredictability of Spa’s weather, George made full use of the dry weather running to take to the track on the Soft Pirelli tyres.
Setting his benchmark lap time of 1.52.315 to slot into P12 before returning to the pits for a fresh set of Softs.
George continued to improve throughout the session but struggled to get heat into the tyres, ending the final practice in P8 with a 1.47.042.
In the opening stages of Q1, George topped the timings with a 1.46.269 but was pushed down into P10 as the rest of the field delivered their flying laps.
The Brit improved into P5 with two minutes remaining and claimed a spot in Q2.
When the lights went green for Q2, George took himself into the top 10 with a 1.46.284 but dropped down onto the fringes of the elimination zone with eight minutes remaining.
Delivering his best lap of 1.45.461, George moved into P6 and into the final qualifying session.
On his first run in Q3, George moved into P7 with a 1.46.204 on his first run.
Despite improving on his lap time, George dropped into P8 where he ended the qualifying session.
Due to numerous penalties ahead of him, George will start the Belgian Grand Prix from P5.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
It's difficult to comprehend how we were on pole in the last race but 1.8 seconds off today, and we aren't just losing time to Max, we were six-tenths behind the Alpines. When the temperatures are cold, we struggle and as we also saw in Imola this year, we find it difficult to get the tyres working. I'm confident we'll have a lot more pace tomorrow compared to the Alpines, McLarens and the Williams too, but we will still be 0.5s/1.0s behind Red Bull and Ferrari. We need to look overnight to try and understand our pace but it's good to get qualifying out of the way, it has been a weak point for us, and I'm sure we'll be faster tomorrow. Mercedes qualifying P7 and P8 is not where we want to be, and we know that's not where the car is, so we've got work to do tomorrow to get a good result.