Hungarian Grand Prix 2021 – qualifying
– George Russell qualified 17th and Nicholas Latifi 18th for the Hungarian Grand Prix
– Both George and Nicholas continued to improve throughout Q1, with the Brit posting a 1:17.944 and the Canadian a 1:18.036 on their final flying laps
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: We were unable to make the improvements to the car that we had hoped, and as a result we struggled for pace today. It’s frustrating after a run of good qualifying sessions to miss Q2, especially given how important qualifying is at this circuit. However, tomorrow is set to be hot again and, with a threat of rain, the race may yet be a little unpredictable.
Nicholas suffered with a power delivery issue during his running this afternoon and this is being investigated. It undoubtedly cost him crucial time today and may have been the difference between getting into Q2 and not. With George we struggled to get the car into that narrow sweet spot that is important here for getting a good laptime without overly damaging the tyres. We have done a decent job of this at recent races, but today we couldn’t quite optimise everything, which is what we typically need to do to get out of Q1.
George Russell: It’s the first time all season we haven’t progressed to Q2 but we can’t get it right every time. I didn’t have the confidence in the car today for whatever reason and the lap just didn’t come together for me. We’ve done an amazing job to be in Q2 in the first 10 races of the season and this time, we did a fine job when we normally do an excellent job. For us, fine is not enough. That is how it is sometimes but we’re looking forward to tomorrow. It is going to be a difficult race as it is so hot here and the tyres are going to be really tricky to manage. Hopefully we can do a better job than the others and capitalise on any opportunities.
Nicholas Latifi: We were hoping to be more competitive than we were today, but ultimately it was a very close margin to Q2. The car was feeling ok, not perfectly balanced, but not far off and I was relatively happy. The lap felt OK from my side, but we need to investigate a power unit issue that we experience on both laps. Throughout my last lap I had four or five engine cuts which from the data cost me quite a bit of lap time. Without that maybe Q2 was possible, as we don’t know the exact time lost, but it was definitely hurting.