George Russell has redefined himself as Mr. Saturday by qualifying into Q3 more than once this season. The young Briton hopes to keep this form up in Hungary.
The Williams FW43B has shown exceptional pace when the conditions are not windy or gusty. Russell feels like the wind conditions for this weekend will pose a challenge for him: “It’s been very calm winds and stable condition for the last three events, whereas it’s pretty gusty and windy here. So that may offset our sort of normal Budapest pace versus our current form.”
Alternatively, Russell has pointed out that he believes that the biggest contributor to the FW43B’s newfound pace is new Pirelli tires. He explained that the new tires are more in sync with the car when it is being pushed to its limit.
“We have these fantastic qualifyings, which I’ve sort of put down to the new tires, really.
“New tires that can handle the limitations of the car. It’s only when you put the fuel in the tires are degrading, the temperatures are really on the upper limit, we start to really struggle or go back to our normal pace.
“But when we’ve got those new tires on the car, we can really extract more than the potential. And I think that’s why we’re seeing this big swing between the two days.”
While hoping to continue his hot streak of qualifying performances, he looked back on his misfortunes at Hungaroring where he had not finished in the top 15 through his F1 career and faced mechanical issues while racing in Hungary for the F2 championship.
“I think it’s a reasonable chance, to be very honest. Obviously, we’ve gone to Q3 in the last couple of races twice, missed out on the one before by six milliseconds. We’ve generally been pretty strong here.
“Budapest is the track that I’ve had the most amount of bad luck in my whole career. Yet it’s the track that I’ve been probably the quickest that in my whole career. So, I don’t know when the two are going to align into a half-decent result.”
He finally concluded by divulging over his luck with finishing in the top 10 on Sunday. He explained that he made a mistake when he had his last realistic opportunity at Imola. Despite starting in the top 10 after that, he shared that a top 10 finish in those races was not assured.
“I guess you get what you deserve, really. Ultimately, there’s been opportunities. Probably the only one that I felt like we probably should have scored points, truly, but didn’t was Imola. But ultimately, I ended up in the wall. And regardless of who was to blame for that, I was in the car, and I didn’t finish the race.
“So that’s probably the only real opportunity that has gone amiss. But obviously, the other races it’s kind of natural.”