George completes experimental Friday in Sochi
George Russell completed a productive and experimental Friday at the Sochi Autodrom, covering 315 kilometres of running in practice for the Russian Grand Prix.
The 22-year-old took to the circuit in the opening practice session of the weekend, turning his first laps of the Black Sea-situated track in 12 months after last racing at the venue in 2019.
Despite facing a number of disruptions – with both Carlos Sainz Jr and Nicholas Latifi collecting the barriers in the 90-minute period – George produced a best lap of a 1:37.595s which handed the Briton 17th at the close of the session.
In the afternoon, George extended his previous lap count of 24 by 30 while also improving upon his previous personal best, shaving 2.02s off his best efforts from the morning.
This 1:35.575s tour handed the British racer 16th at the end of the day, successfully out-pacing both Haas drivers, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.
Over the three-hour practice window, George and his Williams Racing team explored set-up options in preparation for Sunday’s race while also experimenting with its tyre selection for the weekend, with Pirelli using its three softest compounds for the 10th round of the season.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
“Today we were trying out some different things on the car to see how the tyres would react, as that is something that we need to work on to get some more pace on race day. We were therefore looking at how much our qualifying performance would be compromised in order to help us more on Sunday. We don’t know the outcome yet but as it’s a very long run into turn two, it’s potentially less important where you qualify at this circuit as so much can happen going into that first corner and the tyre behaviour is often a bit unpredictable.”
George will complete one further hour of practice on Saturday morning before contesting qualifying in the afternoon.