George Delivers Brilliant Budapest Performance
George Russell excelled at the Hungaroring this weekend, putting in a brilliant performance in Qualifying and the Race for the Hungarian Grand Prix – where he almost put his FW42 into Q2 and put in the most competitive showing for the ROKiT Williams Racing team so far this season.
Following a series of updates brought to the FW42 in the previous race at Hockeheim, this weekend was the chance to validate these as the team attempt to close the gap to the cars infront.
George did exactly that, putting in a brilliant performance in Qualifying – which saw him set the 16th fastest time, finishing just 0.053s off a place in Q2 and earning the plaudits of many throughout the paddock for extracting everything and more out of the car.
George lined up P15 on the grid following a grid penalty for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi. The Briton made an excellent start, making a series of bold and opportunistic overtakes around the outside of Kevin Magnussen and Danil Kvyat to move into P14 at the end of the opening lap. George was now able to start displaying the race craft that was seen so often in last season’s FIA Formula 2 Championship winning campaign.
As the race settled down in the early stages, the reality was that the car was not as strong in race trim as it was in Qualifying. Nevertheless, George held onto P16 throughout the race, completing a one stop strategy after pitting on Lap 16 for the Hard compound tyre.
He managed to place his car brilliantly to keep behind the faster cars of Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi at bay throughout the race – holding them off even after they changed to a two stop strategy and fitted fresher tyres for the final stint of the race, crossing the line in P16 at the chequered flag.
George Russell - ROKiT Williams Racing Driver:
“I am ecstatic with qualifying. We have really turned the page this weekend with our update and understanding the tyres. It was a shame to miss out on Q2 but considering everything, we are over the moon. I felt comfortable inside the car, probably the happiest that I have been all year. It was a joy to drive and I’m really pleased with the lap. We will enter the summer break on a positive note, knowing that we achieved this result on merit
Qualifying definitely exceeded expectations, so it was a little bit back to reality today. I had a good first lap and made up two positions on Magnussen and Kvyat at turn four and five, which was pretty fun. It was nice to be racing other drivers. We’ve still got work to do but there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend. We’ve made a good step forward.”
The annual ‘summer break’ will see Formula One head into a three-week holiday period, before the second half of the season resumes at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on the 30 August – 1 September for Round
Photographs Courtesy of XPB Images
Additional Press Content Courtesy of ROKiT Williams Racing