Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2021 – Qualifying

Qualifying Notes

– George Russell qualified 12th and Nicholas Latifi 14th for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
– It marks the team’s best qualifying performance since the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, the last time both cars made it through to Q2
– George continued to improve on his lap times during both sessions, posting his fastest time of qualifying in Q2 with a 1:15.261 on the soft Pirelli tyre
– Nicholas followed suit, continuing to improve on his times before finally setting a 1:15.593 on the soft compound in Q2

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: We’ve had a good day today with the car behaving well and responding to the changes overnight. Both drivers did a great job of extracting the laptime under pressure.

Nicholas had a small snap of oversteer on one of his laps this morning, which caused some minor damage to the car and although we were able to get him back out again during FP3, we needed to complete some more thorough checks between FP3 and Qualifying. This took a little longer than anticipated, but some excellent work from the full team of mechanics, as well as the red flag early in Q1 meant that he was able to complete a full run programme.

The pace of the car was good, and the new parts that we tested yesterday are working well. Based on our experience last October, we thought that this track would be better suited to the car than Bahrain, however, it is nice to have seen this confirmed today. Although we are pleased to have got both cars into Q2, there is a lot of work to do to crystallise today’s performance into a meaningful result tomorrow. The weather for the race looks a little uncertain, but we hope that we can use any doubt over the conditions to our advantage.

Both drivers have been excellent all weekend, with Nicholas being very strong from the beginning of FP1 and pushing hard on every lap. George took a little longer to understand his car yesterday, but really put in some strong laps today. Both are in a good position to race hard tomorrow.

George Russell: The car has been feeling good this weekend, 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.

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.

Nicholas Latifi: 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. Even though we did get back out on track we still had some residual things that the team needed to check over.

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 to 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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