George Russell: Barcelona was my best race so far

(Motorsport-Total.com) – At first glance, Spain looks like a typical Williams race: George Russell finished in 17th place ahead of team-mate Nicholas Latifi and Romain Grosjean’s Haas – ten seconds behind the closest opponent. For Russell himself, however, the Spanish Grand Prix was “one of the most satisfying races I’ve ever had,” as he says.

Romain Grosjean, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi

Romain Grosjean in particular was a popular victim of Russell

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Because in the meantime the Englishman could finally take on some opponents. He had missed that completely last year in the hopeless Williams. But in Barcelona Russell could fight with Grosjean, Kimi Räikkönen or even Esteban Ocon. “If you consider that our pace was significantly worse this weekend, then I can draw a lot of positive things from it.”

Russell would even go so far as to say it was his best race in Formula One. He was able to overtake Grosjean twice, and there was once a hairy scene with Raikkonen when the Finn came in from behind with DRS. “We were very slow on the straights all weekend, especially compared to the Alfas, which were 10 km / h faster without DRS.”

“And with the DRS effect and the slipstream, it practically came out of nowhere,” says Russell. “He launched an attack on the outside, I braked as late as I could, and at the apex on the right our wheels almost touched. But on the next left I was able to stay outside in front. I knew it was very, very was tight, “said the Englishman. “But I could stay in front.”

Almost overtook a Renault

Russell enjoyed that, and also that he almost passed Esteban Ocon in the Renault. “I was right behind him once and had the pace advantage. But he was lucky that he had DRS from Giovinazzi, who pitted when I was closest,” said the Williams driver. “If it hadn’t been for that, I would have surely overtaken him.”

The youngster is sure that Ocon would have overtaken him back, but the fact that he was just behind a Renault, which for him is often Q3 candidate, was a satisfaction for him.

“In the end I fell back like a stone, but I gave everything I had,” laughs Russell and is sure that a different strategy could have gained a few seconds of racing time.

No chance in Spa and Monza?

Nevertheless, it is a motivation for him when he can suddenly fight with the others. “I don’t want to say that we want to fight for the lowest positions, but the fact that Haas and Alfa Romeo are within striking distance gives me and the team additional motivation to get everything out of it,” said Russell.

Williams would at least like to return to the B-League, to which Russell does not count the racing team alongside Alfa Romeo and Haas. At Spa, however, he expects a difficult weekend again, even if you think that the powerful Mercedes engine should bring an advantage.

“We have the most powerful engine, but we also have by far the car with the greatest aerodynamic drag,” he emphasizes. That’s why you were good on winding routes like Budapest, but not now in Spa and Monza. “We have a lot of power, but we don’t make full use of it.”

“On paper you should think that we should fly at Spa and Monza, but that’s not the case because unfortunately we have really bad aerodynamic efficiency. And that makes it difficult for us.”

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