George impresses in Belgian GP qualifying
George Russell impressed in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix by delivering Williams Racing with a fifth Q2 appearance in the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship, driving at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Following a steady practice program over the course of Friday, George improved his understanding of the longest venue on the Formula 1 calendar on Saturday morning, turning a further 11 laps of the 7.004km-long track in FP3.
Come qualifying, the 22-year-old produced a 1:44.449s from the offset – a lap that placed him in 13th overall after the initial runs from the 18-minute opening session.
A further improvement of 0.819s propelled George away from the threat of elimination and despite the Williams FW43 not suiting the nature of the circuit, the Briton progressed to Q2, 0.026s safe and out-pacing 2019 Belgium race winner Charles Leclerc.
With Scuderia Ferrari struggling for pace, George was in direct competition with the Italian marque in Q2 and after abandoning his first run, clocked a 1:43.468s lap at the close of the next qualifying window.
This lap handed George 15th, just over two tenths shy of four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, leading to a starting spot on the eighth row of the grid.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
“I am thrilled, and it was probably the best qualifying of the year for us. On paper, our car does not suit this circuit because of the long straights, so we were not expecting to be close to Q2. We put a really good lap together and the car was feeling great. It was exhilarating driving around here with the car on the limit like that, so I am really pleased. We hope for rain tomorrow, as if it is wet it might mix things up a bit, so fingers crossed the heavens open.”
George will contest the seventh race of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship on Sunday afternoon, racing 44-laps around the iconic Ardennes-situated circuit.