Williams driver Russell will line up second on the grid for the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix behind polesitter Max Verstappen and forward of Lewis Hamilton after gorgeous the Q3 subject in qualifying on Saturday.
Russell’s lap of 2m00.086s within the remaining moments of qualifying put him on provisional pole, with solely Verstappen capable of higher his time.
The Briton had initially left the pits following the purple flag interval brought on by McLaren’s Lando Norris crashing heavily at Eau Rouge at the beginning of Q3 nonetheless on full moist tyres, earlier than pitting to modify to the intermediates that Crimson Bull and Wolff’s Mercedes squad had fitted for the resumption.
That put Russell out of sequence to the remainder of the Q3 runners and when he lastly set a timed lap within the remaining phase of qualifying it was initially solely ok for ninth place and nearly eight seconds slower than what would change into his Q3 private finest.
However Williams head of auto efficiency, Dave Robson, has defined how Russell was in reality build up for a remaining “all in” effort on the finish of Q3 utilizing the arrogance he had constructed up together with his earlier excursions, in addition to utilizing the total battery power deployment from his energy unit.
“That remaining part in Q3, clearly we left on that full moist whereas realizing that we had loads of time to make the pitstop,” Robson defined.
“George was very pleased that it was inter situations so we made the cease after which we felt that we may both do two pushing laps or, with the observe drying fairly rapidly, we may simply go all in and goal for that one good lap on the finish.
“So, we went for that. We took the chance to do the prep lap, get the tyres, the brakes the ability unit all in the precise state, after which simply go for it.
“It labored out very effectively. He clearly had fairly good observe place. So all of it simply got here collectively properly.
“However I feel Toto’s description might be completely honest. In our place we have been already forward of the curve and did not actually have an enormous quantity to lose.
“As soon as we obtained him in that place his lap was extraordinarily good. He simply made absolutely the most in each nook of what we have been capable of give him.
“It is onerous to maintain discovering phrases to explain his performances – when he actually has a very good qualifying session he actually does simply get higher and higher because the session goes on.
“And that is what we noticed – he was courageous, however wise. Simply fast, simply calm – only a actually good, skilled, good lap.”
George Russell, Williams, celebrates after securing a entrance row begin place
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
A further consideration for Russell’s remaining Q3 lap was that he was working used intermediates, as Williams had dedicated to not saving any of its 4 units of the green-walled compound in a bid to attempt to guarantee it made it into the later levels of qualifying.
This meant the crew despatched Russell and Nicholas Latifi out on inters at the beginning of the delayed Q1, the place the remainder of subject carried out the preliminary exploratory laps on the total wets – a name Robson described as “aggressive” to “get the driving force’s confidence up”.
However the soaking floor in Q1 plus the 40-minute delay following Norris’s crash meant the inters Williams put again on Russell’s automobile for the tip of Q3 weren’t excessively worn and had been introduced again as much as temperature within the blankets within the crew’s storage.
“I do not assume it was an enormous loss [Russell running used inters in Q3],” mentioned Robson.
“It is a type of conditions the place it is simply extremely troublesome to know – the situations are altering on a regular basis.
“However we did know that that first set of inters from Q1 we would used when it was actually fairly moist. So that they weren’t badly broken after we pitted off them.
“After which there had been such a protracted time frame since Q1 run one they have been all scorching and again as much as temperature.
“So, we have been moderately assured that they might be in fine condition. Clearly, we by no means dreamed of getting P2. However we have been pleased they weren’t unhealthy.”