George Exceeds Expectations at the Temple of Speed
George Russell finished the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 14th position, maximising the potential of the FW42 and achieving a strong result – especially considering this was anticipated to be the toughest race of the season for the team.
Just a week after the Belgian Grand Prix, Formula One headed to the fastest circuit on the calendar at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.
Following a rain interrupted Friday morning for FP1, FP2 and FP3 ran in dry conditions before Qualifying on Saturday.
George set the 18th fastest time, outpacing teammate Robert Kubica and extending his perfect qualifying score from the season.
A raft of grid penalties elevated George to 14th on the grid for the start of the Italian Grand Prix, despite a cautious start as the back bunched up at the Retifilio and Del La Roggia Chicane, George emerged in 15th position and was able to run well with the pack, despite the straight line deficit in the car.
He gained further positions following a collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll at the Ascari Chicane, promoting George into 13th position.
Race pace seemed a lot more promising than expected, as George ran to a one-stop strategy, pitting for the Hard Pirelli tyre on lap 23, which he ran to the end of the Grand Prix.
George battled with Vettel for 13th position into the final laps, crossing the line in 14th position to round out a solid race, maximising the potential in the car around a circuit that was expected to not favour the FW42.
George Russell - ROKiT Williams Racing Driver
“My first lap was very good, but my second run was a bit of a shame. I came out of turn five and one of the cars ahead of me had gone off through the gravel and brought a load of it back on, so I had no grip at the next corner. However, it is positive that we were closer to the rest of the field than expected and I can be happy with qualifying, as I feel that we did quite a good job to maximise our package.
Our pace was surprising, especially considering Monza is one of the three worst circuits of the year for us with our straight-line speed. We definitely have some positives to take away, it shows that we did a good job with the set-up, with the tyres, with everything else in our control. I think we can be quite pleased with the result.”
Singapore will host Round 15 of the Formula One World Championship in just two weeks time on the 20-22 September.
Photographs Courtesy of XPB Images
Additional Press Content Courtesy of ROKiT Williams Racing