Russell, who has scored factors in three of the final 4 races for the staff that had beforehand not scored a prime 10 end result because the 2019 German GP – however has been making regular progress on its automobile’s tempo within the final two seasons – certified third in Sochi behind Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.
The British driver will swap to Mercedes subsequent yr and consequently may change into a daily rival to Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was requested about Russell’s latest outcomes after qualifying in Sochi.
The Dutchman mentioned that Russell “nonetheless did an incredible job, however I feel folks have to grasp that that automobile isn’t as dangerous as folks assume it’s” and added “in Spa, that automobile is just not a Purple Bull or a Mercedes, however in addition they ran extra wing and extra downforce”.
When Verstappen’s feedback had been put to Williams’ head of auto efficiency by Autosport, Dave Robson replied: “I imply, yeah the automobile is a consider [those good recent results].
“If it was actually dangerous, then we would not be capable to get these outcomes.
“We have not added any wing to the automobile. So that’s our greatest dry automobile put forwards.”
Robson went on to elucidate how his squad has additionally been reaping the advantage of making sensible operational calls in robust circumstances, akin to giving Russell an additional ultimate preparation lap within the moist Q3 at Spa, the place he certified second and went on to take that spot within the controversially deserted ‘race’ that adopted, and its name to take slicks on the drying Sochi observe on Saturday.
George Russell, Williams FW43B
Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“I feel what we do do a superb job of is getting on the correct little bit of the observe on the proper time, typically, with a little bit of an exception in George’s case in Q1 [yesterday],” mentioned Robson.
“And we do appear to have the ability to discover some good grip from these intermediate tyres in these situations. And on this case, the slicks as properly on the finish there.
“However I feel that was all about simply getting onto them early sufficient.
“The automobile has some strengths for certain and positively in comparison with final yr’s automobile. It does have some strengths – it is not horrible.”
Robson additionally defined that Williams was “fairly comfortable to make use of up the inters in Q1 and Q2 to get as far up as we may”, with Russell utilizing all his new units of the green-walled compound to achieve the shootout, the place he was the primary driver to modify to slicks – a scenario that undid the beforehand dominant Mercedes squad.
“Q1 was not fairly as serene as we’d have appreciated, [George] spent a little bit of time behind the 2 Haas automobiles, which held him up for a bit, so we did not get that bit fairly proper,” mentioned Robson.
“However, in any other case, as soon as we fitted the second set [of inters], he was effective and had greater than sufficient tempo to get by way of.
“By the point we bought to Q3, we had been aware that it was getting fairly near the crossover [for slicks]. And we simply wanted to determine whether or not to go for it or not.
“And if we had been going to go for it, then do it quickly sufficient that he had sufficient time to grasp the situations on the slicks and get the tyres as much as temperature.
“So, it labored out very well not having to make use of intermediates in Q3 – as a result of we did not have any new ones left.”