Williams’ George Russell is relieved the team can finally focus on car performance again after two years of trying to keep the team alive.

Williams has not scored a Formula 1 point since the 2019 German Grand Prix and has only scored eight points since the start of 2018. The team had a very rough spell in 2019, where they were confined to the back of the field, and only scored tenth in Germany thanks to high attrition and penalties.

Now, they are on the up again. In Portugal, the team got both cars into Q2 for the first time since Hungary 2020, and Russell has made it into the second session in all six rounds so far. The first time since 2017 that at least one Williams has left Q1 in the first part of the year.

Russell has seen and acknowledged the gains, saying he is happy the team are back on the up and can focus on performance once again.

“When Claire and Mike were here, the main objective was to keep the team alive and it was the right thing to do,” Russell said.

“Performance was secondary, though. Now, it’s the most important thing again. Maybe a lot of us would not have stayed here if it were for the great efforts of the two of them during the pandemic.”

“2019 was an incredibly difficult season. Then in 2020 with the pandemic and the financial situation we were clear that developing the car would not be easy at all. Now we have new owners, but for us, it may be too late to make a difference in 2021.”

Russell will hope to continue his Q2 streak in France, where Formula 1 heads next, this weekend.

Journalist, writing various articles for ASN. MotoGP specialist and ASN's resident motorsports history nerd. Can generally be found screaming at stupid strategy choices while watching the tv.