George takes 14th in eventful Italian GP
George Russell took 14th place in a chaotic and eventful Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza – the home of the eighth race of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship.
After a frustrating qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, George started the 53-lap affair from 19th on the grid and made inroads immediately, overtaking Kevin Magnussen and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel for 17th.
Despite dropping down to 18th on lap 2 when re-passed by Vettel, the 22-year-old continued to fight forward, running as high as 13th when the safety car was deployed on lap 20 after Magnussen ground to a halt on the exit of Turn 11.
George took advantage of this pause in racing to pit, swapping his race-starting Medium tyres for a set of Hards on lap 23, re-joining in 15th place in time for the restart.
A high-speed accident for Charles Leclerc moments after the green flag waved led to a second safety car and a subsequent red flag period under which the race was stopped to undertake repairs to the barriers at Turn 11.
George took the opportunity to fit a second set of Medium tyres to his Williams FW43. After a second race start, the Briton moved forward to 13th and entered a duel with Romain Grosjean until the chequered flag waved.
With a straight-line speed deficit on the Haas driver, George was unable to overtake and ultimately finished in 14th place, impacted negatively by the unpredictability of the racing at the Temple of Speed.
George Russell – Williams Racing Driver
“It was an unfortunate race and we were unlucky not to pit before the red flag. The car was feeling really good, we were just slow on the straight. Every time I overtook a car, they just passed me on the straight. It is a shame, because I think we could have scored points today. The car was feeling fast but that is just racing. I am really happy to see the top four finishers today; it is absolutely awesome for them.
“It’s also the end of an era and it’s been a privilege to be a part of it. What Claire and Frank have done for the team, and for the people that work for the team, is extraordinary. They’ve always kept them in their hearts and that’s still the case now.”
Formula 1’s 2020 season will continue on September 11-13 at the Mugello Circuit in Italy – home of the Tuscan Grand Prix.