Russell not sure if Sprint Qualifying benefits Williams

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43B. Austrian Grand Prix, Sunday 4th July 2021. Spielberg, Austria. Credits: Williams Media.

George Russell is not yet sure if the new Sprint Qualifying is an advantage for Williams, but he still hopes for a “chance” that might come up.

A 100km race on Saturday is to be tested for the first time at the British GP and will decide the grid positions for Sunday’s race.

The traditional qualifying will be moved from Saturday to Friday to determine the starting grid for the sprint race.

These new Sprint Qualifyings will be tried out at 3 races this year at Silverstone, Monza, and a yet unknown location.

George Russell has now also commented on the new qualifying format. Besides being happy to finally race in front of his home crowd again, on the other hand he doesn’t know if this format suits Williams.

“Silverstone’s going to be an even bigger crowd [than Austria] and I’m sure they’re going to be buzzing for it – probably after England have won the Euros as well, so they’re going to be happy about that.”

“Obviously, there’s the sprint qualifying as well. I’m not too sure that will play into our favor, because obviously, we’re normally a bit better on the quali performance than we are in the race.”

“But we’ve got to give it a chance and maybe it goes the other way. It’s new for everybody, and that also gives an opportunity.”

Russell can look back on a good race weekend in Austria when he led Williams into Q3 for the first time and narrowly missed out on a point at the race.

After the two races at the Red Bull Ring, he says that he has taken “massive” confidence from the performance and also believes that Williams is getting the most out of the car at the moment.

“I feel so at one with the car and the team at the moment, and we’re really getting everything out of the package, which I think is so important.”

“Especially on a Saturday, the pressure’s on, if you make one small mistake you’re penalized, and it shows obviously in the course of the race. Everybody gets into a rhythm and that true pace comes out.”

“We’re all doing a really good job and it’s so close. P12 in France, P8 last week before we retired, P11 today – all of which every single top team and car finished.”

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