British Grand Prix 2020 – Qualifying

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43. British Grand Prix, Saturday 1st August 2020. Silverstone, England.

Qualifying Notes

  • George Russell qualified 15th and Nicholas Latifi 20th for the British Grand Prix
  • George secured his third consecutive Q2 appearance of the season, clocking a time of 1:27.092 in Q2
  • Nicholas’s quickest of Q1 was his second flying lap, with a time of 1:27.705
  • George was given a five-place grid penalty for failing to slow sufficiently for double yellow flags at Turn 7

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The pace of the car today was quite good and confirmed that we did a good job yesterday and overnight. After FP3 both drivers felt that the car had improved since Friday and were looking forward to qualifying. The gusty conditions this afternoon made driving a little difficult and unfortunately Nicholas succumbed to the wind on his final timed lap. The resulting yellow flag forced George to slow down and lose time on a rapidly evolving track. His time was still good enough to qualify for Q2 for the third race in a row, but unfortunately the stewards considered that he did not react appropriately to the yellow flag and consequently has been awarded a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race.

Cooler conditions are expected tomorrow, but Silverstone remains a demanding track for the tyres and a variety of strategies can be expected during the race. We have tried to rebalance our qualifying and race pace this weekend having recently found races a little more difficult than qualifying. We will see tomorrow if we have made progress in this regard.

Whatever happens tomorrow, both drivers did well today with Nicholas quickly adapting to the test items that George looked at yesterday, and George showing strong pace throughout the day. The pace of the car continues to improve and our ability to adapt the set-up from the high downforce demands of Hungary to the high efficiency of Silverstone bodes well for the rest of the season, especially when we look forward to the next triple-header which begins in Spa in a few weeks’ time.

George Russell: We have got to be pleased with our performance. It is three races in a row now we have been faster on Saturday and slower on Sunday, and so we tried to set the car up more for Sunday, so I was quite surprised with the performance we had today. The car felt great it was really fun driving around the track. Once we made it to Q2 we always want more, but our realistic goal was to out qualify the Haas and the Alfa, because the next team, AlphaTauri were just too far ahead. I was pleased with the job I did, and we will see what happens tomorrow.

Nicholas Latifi: We made a big reset with the car overnight to be more competitive. The car was feeling much better and I had a lot more confidence.I am very disappointed with myself and the mistake I made on my final lap. I got too greedy on the throttle, and just spun the car around. I think if I had actually done the lap, I probably could have done a lap good enough for Q2 that George showed was possible. We had some doubts coming into this weekend about the potential of the car in qualifying relative to how it was in Budapest. So it shows that the gains still carry over to a track like this. There are some positive signs, I am just a bit frustrated from my side of the garage.

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