Williams rear end issue hampered Russell’s F1 race in Portimao

George Russell says that his Williams Formula 1 team discovered an issue with his car that contributed to his struggles in last weekend's Portuguese GP.

Williams rear end issue hampered Russell’s F1 race in Portimao

Russell put in his best qualifying performance of his Williams career thus far by earning 11th on the grid, but in what he called "a race of survival" he slipped back to eventually finish 16th.

Russell pointed out that his 11th place in qualifying flattered the true form of the Williams package, as several drivers from midfield teams underperformed, and the FW43B was actually only the eighth fastest car. Thus it was not a surprise when he was passed by quicker cars in the race.

“We did find there was a small issue on the rear of the car, which definitely did not help things on Sunday,” Russell said in Barcelona on Thursday.

“But I think we are fighting for this eighth and ninth position in the constructors' [championship], that's roughly where the pace of the car is.

"And I think it is worth remembering that we were the eighth quickest car on Saturday, even though we qualified 11th there were a lot of very fast drivers who were behind us.

“That doesn't take anything away from a very difficult Sunday in very tricky conditions and we still need to work on improving that.

"But it must be remembered that there were Ricciardo, Alonso, Stroll who are often fighting for that Q3 spot, well behind us and out in Q1 and the start of Q2.

“So we need to keep on improving, we need to make a more drivable car, less sensitive, so Nicholas [Latifi] and I can really push it to its limits, because that was very difficult in the race on Sunday.”

Read Also:

Russell says that his team has been getting everything right in qualifying, when rivals haven’t always done so. “I think as a team, we do a great job at optimising it to be honest,” he explained.

“I think, as we just touched on, there were a few people who didn't optimise their packages. As we said, we were still only the eighth fastest car and team in qualifying.

“But that translated to P11 on the grid. So we just did a really good job at maximising the tyres, maximising the traffic management and the lap, which is really important.

"And when you get into Sunday's race, and you have 60-odd laps to get into the rhythm, sort of feel at one with the car, I think the true pace of everybody's package comes out.

“But we need to continue on these positives from Saturday and try and implement them more onto Sunday.”

Russell also noted that Williams' race form has on occasion been impacted by windy conditions, something that the car is particularly sensitive to, which have contributed to a disparity between qualifying and race form.

“I think Imola was a great example of where the car was working very well in qualifying and in the race, we were in 10th position, chasing the Mercedes [Valtteri Bottas] and going for an overtake for P9 on pure pace and pure merit, I think.

“We have had two out of three races now work has been quite gusty, unnaturally gusty and windy. And I guess we need to get fortunate. But as it is in racing and in life, you make your own luck.

“So we need to see how we get on, and still give it a few more races to get a true baseline of where we think realistically we can fizzle out of this season.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: People need to give Bottas a break

Previous article

Hamilton: People need to give Bottas a break

Next article

F1 drivers react to 2021 Barcelona track changes

F1 drivers react to 2021 Barcelona track changes
Load comments
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Prime

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021