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Russell: I was off the pace all weekend

IMOLA, ITALY – APRIL 16: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Williams Racing FW43B Mercedes during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 16, 2021 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mario Renzi – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

George Russell has said he was off the pace all weekend after qualifying 12th for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Williams has shown a strong improvement from last season, as today both cars had made it to the Q2 session of qualifying, something we only used to see with George Russell by tight margins last year.

The Briton now says he has been “off the pace” all weekend, stating that his teammate Nicholas Latifi was faster than him.

“The car has been feeling good this weekend,” he said. “Personally I was off the pace all weekend and Nicholas was faster than me in every session. I was struggling and I didn’t have the confidence, but in Q2 we made it work.”

Despite his previous statements, Russell admitted to being “really happy” about starting tomorrow’s Grand Prix in 12th place.

“We got through Q1 by the skin of our teeth and then did a really good job in Q2 when it mattered. I am really happy with P12, the car is looking quick in a straight line which is going to help us tomorrow on a track that is difficult to overtake. I think it’s going to be an exciting one.”

Russell’s teammate, Nicholas Latifi, said he was “very pleased” with William’s performance in Qualifying.

“I am very pleased with today’s performance. We nearly didn’t make it out for qualifying due to my little bump with the wall in FP3.

“We had a good Q1 and I was really pleased with the lap. Q2 I was a little disappointed as I didn’t get the improvement I needed due to a little mistake at the beginning of my second lap.

“Overall, I am really pleased with the result. I am expecting the car to feel good in race trim. It is a notoriously difficult track to overtake on, but fingers crossed for a good one.”

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