Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 – Qualifying

Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Williams Racing FW43. Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday 18th July 2020. Budapest, Hungary.

Qualifying Notes

  • George Russell qualified 12th and Nicholas Latifi 15th for the Hungarian Grand Prix
  • George equalled his career-best qualifying result, the same position he qualified last weekend
  • Nicholas made his Q2 debut, making it the first time the team has had two cars through into Q2 since Italy 2018

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Today was one of the most difficult dry qualifying session we have had for quite some time. Although there was no meaningful rain during the session, the threat was ever-present, which left us trying to balance the risk of rain against the evolution of the track. Fortunately, the pace of the car was quite good and both drivers were able to prepare their tyres well. To get both drivers into Q2 in the dry is testament to the recent work of everyone at the factory and here at the track, as well as the two drivers, who were again very, very good today.

It is frustrating that George missed Q3 by a small margin again, but we gambled at the beginning of Q2 and used our final new set early in the session, hoping that some rain might impede other cars that waited. On this occasion, the gamble didn’t work but nonetheless, George was still able to qualify P12 for the second week in a row. Nicholas chose to delay his run a little, aiming to capitalise on track evolution. He made a few changes to the settings on the car for the final run, but they didn’t pay off today. However, he still drove very well, qualified for his first Q2 session, and banked a lot of valuable experience in the process.

Attention now turns to tomorrow and we will see if we can start well and gain a few more places in the opening lap. We know that overtaking here is traditionally very difficult and whilst this means that we have an opportunity to hold on to our starting position, it equally means that getting into the points-scoring positions could be tricky.

George Russell: The car came alive in qualifying in these cooler conditions and I had a lot of fun out there. Again, I did not expect to be this fast, the car was feeling great and I had a good rhythm. It was a shame about the Q2 lap, we had some traffic and I think Q3 was possible today, which would have been amazing. But P12, considering where we were last year, was incredible. I love driving this track flat out, it was great fun and I’m proud of the boys and girls to get that result again. Fingers crossed we get a bit of rain tomorrow; we could do with that and we could be on for a good result. I am ready to fight, and hopefully we have a successful race.

Nicholas Latifi: I am definitely very pleased; it was my first time into Q2. From a team point of view, it needs to be acknowledged all the amazing work that they have done. For sure we knew that this track was going to suit our car more but getting both cars through to Q2 on merit shows that we have made a lot of progress. I am still a bit disappointed in myself that I wasn’t further up, as I expected a bit more. However, I can be very pleased with the overall session and a big well done to the guys.

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