George exceeds expectations in Austria qualifying
George Russell cemented 17th place on the grid in qualifying for Formula 1’s 2020 Austrian season-opener, marginally missing out on Q2 for Williams Racing.
After completing extensive running for the British outfit over the course of Friday practice in which he turned 67 laps, George extended his experience on Saturday morning, completing a further 21 tours ahead in FP3 ahead of qualifying.
Having shown speed over the prior sessions, George was in a strong position to challenge and in Q1, was in contention for a place in the second spell as the FW43 showed promise against the Alfa Romeo and Haas teams.
As the session wound down to its conclusion, the 22-year-old sat on the cusp in 15th after completing a 1:05.167s run – his best lap of the weekend by 0.398s.
With a late improvement, Romain Grosjean pipped George to a place in the second qualifying session – the Briton only 0.073s shy of the cut-off. As Kevin Magnussen also bettered his time, George ultimately secured 17th.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
“Today has exceeded my expectations, I knew we had made a step forward, but I didn’t think we would be in this position. Unfortunately, we missed the slipstream that we were aiming for on my previous lap, that cost me about two tenths, but it was definitely a very good effort. We have made a big step forward, and this is the closest we have been on pure pace. The team did a really good job to get the most out of the car so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
After out-qualifying team-mate Nicholas Latifi, George will start from the ninth row for Sunday’s 71-lap Austrian Grand Prix and the first race of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship.