George ends Williams Q2 drought in Styrian GP Qualifying
George Russell recorded his personal best performance in qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix, ending a 23-race Q2 drought for Williams by taking 12th.
After sitting out FP1, George entered qualifying for the second race of the 2020 World Championship with limited track time after FP3 was cancelled as a result of poor weather conditions.
As the rain continued to fall, the start of qualifying was delayed but despite this, the session commenced in tempestuous circumstances – a challenge that George dealt with expertly behind the wheel of the FW43.
In Q1, George opted to take to the track later and in doing so, found an advantage in the poor weather conditions that were improving marginally on a lap by lap basis.
With a 1:20.382s run, George emerged in 12th at the close of the session which ended under red flags when Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi ground to a halt at the entry of Turn 4.
This paved the way to the Briton’s first Q2 appearance in his Formula 1 career and Williams Racing’s first since the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix.
After refining his lap time over Q1, George had only one set of fresh tyres remaining for his Q2 assault. With the weather set to deteriorate, the 22-year-old took to the track early, catching the track in its optimum state.
George’s 1:19.636s lap – 0.746s faster than his Q1 time – was good enough for 12th at the close of the session, with the Briton only 0.091s shy of securing a place inside the top 10 shootout.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
Q2 was our target this weekend, but if someone told me it would be less than a tenth to Q3, I wouldn’t have believed that. It was incredibly tricky out there. I couldn’t see at many points, but I gave it everything I had, and it worked out. The car was feeling good and I had a lot of fun out there. I am really pleased for all the guys who come week in week out fighting. It is not quite the true pace of our car, but it’s a real boost for everyone in the team. Overall it was a great qualifying session, I am really happy and let’s see what we can do tomorrow.
With Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc receiving a three-place grid penalty, George will start tomorrow’s Styrian Grand Prix from 11th on the grid.