Front Wing Damage Denies George at Paul Ricard
A battling French Grand Prix saw George come on top with a wheel-to-wheel battle with teammate Robert Kubica, before an unscheduled change for a front wing damage dropped him behind his teammate as he finished the French Grand Prix in P19 for ROKiT Williams Racing.
Following qualifying on Saturday, George was forced to start from P20 on the grid after a Power Unit Electrical problem forced him out of the running in Free Practice 3 – requiring a component change that resulted in a grid penalty for the Grand Prix.
George and Robert battled for position throughout the opening stages, running side-by-side on multiple occasions.
The pace in the race seemed stronger than expected and the team allowed their two drivers to race hard on track.
George’s first attempt to overtake Robert saw him go for the outside at the ‘Signes’ corner, just having to back out of his attempt – before successfully pulling off the overtake a few laps later with a brilliantly audacious overtake to move ahead of his teammate.
The Briton pitted on Lap 25 for the Hard compound tyres, with the intention of running that tyre to the end of the Grand Prix.
However George was forced to complete a second pitstop, after it was found damage to the front wing during the first overtaking attempt on Robert required the front wing to be changed in an unscheduled pitstop on Lap 33.
This dropped George behind Robert, where despite making significant inroads into the gap to his teammate, followed him home in P19 at the chequered flag following his unscheduled second stop.
George Russell - ROKiT Williams Racing Driver:
"With my first attempt to overtake Robert around the outside, I ran wide and hit the polystyrene board. We thought that wasn’t too much of an issue but then we found that damage to the front wing worsened.
For safety reasons we decided on the change. The pace seems strong, but it was an expected day. We need to be patient, learn as much as we can and then hopefully in a number of races time start the battle. Overall, not satisfied, not disappointed just normal."
George is back in action in just one-weeks’ time, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, on the 28-30 June for Round 9 of the Formula One World Championship.
Photographs Courtesy of XPB Images
Additional Press Content Courtesy of ROKiT Williams Racing