George optimistic ahead of Australian Grand Prix
George takes P6 in a red-flag disrupted qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix.
For the final practice session of the weekend, George made a steady start to proceedings, taking to the track 15 minutes into the session to set a benchmark lap time of 1.21.310 on the Soft compound Pirelli tyres and take him into P5.
A crash for Sebastian Vettel brought out a red flag and caused a lengthy delay as his Aston Martin was retrieved.
With 30 minutes remaining, the session resumed, and George returned to track as he continued to gather data about the modified track.
Putting in his best lap time of 1.20.096, George placed into P5 but was unable to hang on to the position and moved down into P10.
A late red flag ended the session prematurely and prevented George from being able to improve any further, ending FP3 in P11.
In Q1, George put in a 1.19.702 lap time to move himself into P10 before improving into P9 on his second run and securing his place in Q2.
Moving into the second qualifying session, George immediately slotted himself into P6.
The Brit was able to maintain himself within the crucial top 10 positions throughout the session and advance into the final qualifying session.
In the final qualifying session, George wasted no time to get out on track as he prepared his Soft tyres for his first flying lap.
Unfortunately, a crash for the Alpine of Fernando Alonso brought out a red flag and George was forced to abort his lap.
Once the track was cleared, the Brit got to work, delivering an incredible 1.19.004 to take him into P4 with two minutes remaining.
As the chequered flag came out, George was pushed down two positions as his countrymen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton, and will begin the Australian Grand Prix from P6 on the grid.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
We're still learning, still trying to understand the car, it was bouncing around a lot today which was really limiting into the fast corners which was where I was losing all my time. I've not been overly comfortable in the car this weekend so I was pretty happy qualifying where we did - I think we'd have taken P5 and P6 before the session. There's no reason why we can't finish ahead of the McLaren tomorrow, we have to try and also keep Sainz and Alonso behind, although they both looked very quick today. Tomorrow will be tricky but I think we've found the best compromise window for the limitations we have and it will be a long race so let's see what we can do.
The Australian Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, April 10 from 6am BST.