Heartbreak in Imola as George crashes out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
George crashes out of the points and the Emilia RomagnaGP after contact with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in Imola.
The British outfit revealed the FW43 on Monday and as the first day of testing commenced, George took to the track, beginning a comprehensive running programme, focussing on the collection of aero data.
Completing this in a handful of different configurations, George switched his attention to long runs on various tyre compounds to understand the key characteristcs of the FW43 before handing over the reins to new team-mate Nicholas Latifi for the afternoon.
Completing 73 laps and the equivalent of 339.815kms of running, George concluded the opening four hours with the sixth-fastest time – a 1:18.168s lap, 0.855s adrift of Mercedes pacesetter Valtteri Bottas.
George Russell - ROKiT Williams Racing Driver
“I was happy with this morning’s running, completing 73 laps, and the feeling was positive. We had an intense programme planned, and it was important to get out from the beginning so that we could get back into the pits first and get on with the day. The general handling of the car is much better, and from lap one I had confidence to push the car to the limit.
The FW43 is an improvement on last year, the lap times are the important thing and we will only know at the end of next week where we are. Overall, it has been a very positive morning, we just need to focus on our programme and get the most out of testing. We are excited for the new season, I am confident that we will be racing this year.”
With extensive data collected early on, George will return to the cockpit on Day 2 of the first test where the Briton will continue his preparations for next month’s Australian Grand Prix – the start of his second season at motorsport’s highest level.
Photographs Courtesy of ROKiT Williams Racing