Russell baffled by F1 qualifying form with "ninth quickest car"

George Russell says that his Williams Formula 1 team believes it currently has the ninth fastest car, and he can't understand how he is consistently qualifying in the top 10.

Russell baffled by F1 qualifying form with "ninth quickest car"

Russell insists that the team's data suggests that, on paper, the FW43B is only faster than the Haas – except when it comes to qualifying, when the Englishman regularly makes Q3.

Russell enjoyed his most impressive qualifying session to date at Silverstone, earning eighth place on the grid for Saturday's sprint. He finished the event in ninth place, but a three-place grid penalty saw him start the Grand Prix from 12th, and he finished in the same position.

Russell suggested that his struggle to stay ahead of faster cars was further proof that it's hard to repeat his one-lap form over longer stints.

"Ultimately, I don't think we really deserved to be any higher than where we finished. I don't know how we keep managing to qualify so high," he said. "You know, we still on paper have the ninth quickest car in every single session except qualifying. FP1, FP2, FP3 and the race, we're the ninth quickest.

"And then somehow come qualifying we manage to put it inside the top 10 or top 12. So come Sunday, when you have eight faster cars, or whatever it is, starting behind you, it's so difficult to keep them there.

"I think the cars behind were three, four or five tenths quicker than us. And when you've got that sort of pace advantage it's easy.

"And they seem to be better on the tyres than us as well. So it was always going to be a race of looking in the mirrors and trying to keep these cars at bay."

Read Also:

Russell admits that he should be pleased with his recent results: "It's a little bit disappointing, always after the races. But I guess we've got to think, top 12 in all of the last four races except the one we retired, fighting for points in three out of four of those races, I guess we would have definitely taken that before this group of four.

"I think that [P12] is a fair result. And we probably didn't really deserve to be any higher than that is. It always seems to be the case, we're going backwards on a Sunday.

"And I don't think it's because we've done a bad job on a Sunday. It's just because we're somehow doing an excellent job in qualifying. So that's a little bit tricky."

Russell denied that his team is putting extra effort into qualifying at the expense of long run form, and suggested his one-lap performances are down to getting everything right and making few mistakes.

"We're not focussing on qualifying, we're focussing everything onto the race. So I don't know if we improve or the others make mistakes. When it's one single lap and the pressure's on, a one tenth or two tenths mistake makes the difference.

"Whereas in a race, you get into the groove, you get into the rhythm, and you find the limit over the course of a few laps, and then you can make hay at that.

"We just need to do a really good job with the procedures, getting everything right, the tyres in the window, right place on the track. And I feel confident in the car in that situation. And I think just between us all we do probably a better job than most, clearly."

shares
comments
F1 reveals Monza schedule including 18-lap sprint race

Previous article

F1 reveals Monza schedule including 18-lap sprint race

Next article

Why F1's battle of the rear wings is becoming even more intricate

Why F1's battle of the rear wings is becoming even more intricate
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021