P5 for George in a stop-start Saturday in Baku
George will line up in P5 for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a frantic Saturday qualifying.
Due to a crash in Formula 2, both FP3 and Qualifying were delayed by 15 minutes as the barrier was repaired.
Once all necessary repairs were made, George took to the track on a set of Hard Pirelli tyres before quickly returned to switch onto the Softs as he prepared for his first run.
Putting in a benchmark 1.47.256, George tops the timings before being pushed down the order as a series of hot laps came in.
The Brit continued to improve throughout the session, delivering his best lap time of 1.44.573 to finish P8 in the final practice session.
With daylight fading in qualifying, George wasted little time getting out on track to slot into P4 on his first run before returning to the pits.
A crash for Lance Stroll brought out the red flag with only two and a half minutes remaining, guaranteeing a frenetic one-lap dash to secure a place in Q2.
Taking the chequered flag, George comfortably claimed his spot in Q2 in P8.
In Q2, George continued with his strong performance to set a 1.43.281 on his first run and move into P4 before being pushed down into P8 where he ended Q2, securing his spot in the final qualifying shootout.
In Q3, the Brit took to the track on a set of Used Soft tyres, putting his W13 machine into P2 early in the session.
As a flurry of fast lap times came in, George was pushed down into P6.
In the final moments of the session, George put in a 1.42.712, taking him up into P5 where he will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
It was an optimised session but being over a second from pole is not where we want to be, it's probably the biggest gap we've seen this year. It's a tricky circuit, the most amount of 'real' corners we've experienced this season, so we have lots of work to do.
The lap felt good, the car felt good but obviously the gap isn't. We expect so much from ourselves and we're working so hard to bring more performance, but definitely this weekend has brought out the strengths and the weaknesses from all of us. The feeling inside the car is okay other than down the straights, every single bump is the most rigid I have ever felt from any race car before and I can barely see the braking zone. But through the corners the car feels good, so we know it's not a balance thing or not getting the car in the right window with the set up - it's more the downforce.
We're balancing a lot of limitations to try and get the downforce. We know there's a lot there, but we just don't know how to extract it.