George P2 after ‘exceptional’ qualifying in Spa
George claims an incredible second career front row to start P2 ahead of Formula One’s Belgium Grand Prix.
The final free practice session of the weekend was another wet session, but the weather did little to stop George as he immediately took to the circuit on a set of Intermediate tyres.
The Brit was able to run for the entire session within the top 10, ending the morning in P9 ahead of qualifying in the afternoon.
Due to heavy rain, qualifying was delayed until it stopped. Once the session got underway, George opted to run the Intermediate tyres and quickly found himself in P1 with 10 minutes of the session remaining.
As the rest of the field began delivering their fastest laps, George was pushed down into P5, but the Brit was quick to retaliate and put in a 2.00.035 lap time to move him to the top of the timings.
However, a flurry of fast laps knocked him back down into P5 where he ended Q1, putting him comfortably into Q2.
On a set of fresh Intermediate tyres, George took to the track for Q2, putting in a 1.58.968 to take him into P2 in the early stages of the session.
As the clock ticked down, George was moved down into P10, but a late charge moved him into P8 and through to Q3.
A heavy downpour between Q2 and Q3 reduced grip across the circuit and a huge crash for the McLaren of Lando Norris brought out a lengthy red flag. Thankfully, Norris was able to walk away and has been declared fit to race.
When the circuit had been cleared and conditions were deemed safe, the remaining nine minutes of qualifying resumed.
George left it late in the session to put in his first flying lap which took him to P9, but the British driver wasn’t finished there.
As the final seconds began to fade away, George put in final flying lap to take provisional pole before being knocked back to P2 by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
The Brit will start the Belgium Grand Prix from the front row in P2 alongside Verstappen.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
It is an amazing feeling, and we definitely did not expect to be starting on the front-row! The team did an incredible job to have me on the track at the right time, on the right tyres, with the right strategy. The driving is one thing, but you need to have everything right around you and often in these moments, that is what it’s all about. I’m so happy for everyone as it’s such a team effort and they did a fantastic job. We obviously had a great result in Hungary, and it feels like our hard work is starting to pay off and people are starting to recognise that.
I knew my last effort was a good lap. It was so tricky out there but because we’re not in Q3 every week, I had the luxury of really being able to put everything on the line and go for it. I had a really good feeling from lap one in FP3 in the wet and when it mattered, we put everything together and that was exceptional. This feeling is exactly what Formula One is all about. Qualifying is over now though, and the race is tomorrow, so we need to make sure we have a good one.
The Belgium Grand Prix will take place on Sunday August 29 from 2pm BST.