French Grand Prix 2021 – Qualifying
– George Russell qualified 14th and Nicholas Latifi 16th for the French Grand Prix
– George reached Q2 for the seventh consecutive race, setting a time of 1:32.065 on his final flying lap
– Nicholas set a fastest time of 1:33.062 in a Q1 session interrupted by two red flags
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Cooler and calmer conditions today improved the performance compared to yesterday. Minor adjustments to the set-up and the updated aero parts also improved the car and both drivers were happy after FP3.
Qualifying was a tricky session with two red flags in Q1 meaning that few timed laps were completed. George did just enough to progress to Q2 despite some traffic in Sector 3, sadly Nicholas missed out by the smallest of margins. In Q2 we opted to run a lightly scrubbed Qualifying tyre followed by a new Option tyre. George made a good improvement with the new Option, but lack of experience using this compound at low fuel meant that he couldn’t get everything out of the tyre. Nonetheless, both drivers did well in a difficult session and will start the race tomorrow in reasonable positions. There could be some storms around tomorrow and so we could be in for an exciting race.
George Russell: It was a good session, but a little scrappy with the red flags and the traffic to deal with. My lap in Q2 wasn’t as good as I would have liked; it was my first real laps on the medium tyre and they take a bit of getting used to, so I think there were still a couple more tenths in there if I’m honest. Nevertheless, P14 is a good qualifying result and we’re putting a lot of effort into our race pace and trying to improve our Sunday performance, so hopefully we can make it count tomorrow.
Nicholas Latifi: Qualifying was a very interrupted session for me. Unfortunately, the first tyres I had on were wasted due to the first red flag, and the second red flag meant I only got to complete one flying lap. That was obviously frustrating as I was up on my previous time, but it caught a few others out and that’s racing sometimes. The car felt good around here though, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow in the race.