– George Russell qualified 11th and Nicholas Latifi 18th for the Portuguese Grand Prix
– George secured his best qualifying performance for Williams and reached Q2 for the third time this season. He continued to improve throughout both sessions posting his final time of a 1:19.109
– Nicholas made good progress throughout the session, posting his quickest lap with a 1:20.285
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Today was much more difficult than we expected, with the tyre requiring subtly different preparation than yesterday. Fortunately, after a tricky FP3, we got it right when it counted and having got into Q2 once again, George was able to hone the preparation ready for a final push lap, which he was able to execute brilliantly. We are a bit frustrated not to get into Q3, however, we are in a strong position for tomorrow as the first car with a new tyre to start the race.
Nicholas was very unfortunate in Q1 and having recovered very well from a difficult day yesterday to be sparring with George at the beginning of Q1, it was frustrating to see him miss out on a final push lap at the end of Q1. He was very good today and like in Imola, his mental strength was exemplary. We need to review what we could’ve done better to help him as he prepared for his final push lap, but when there is such a variety of tyre strategies playing out, it is very difficult to manage all of the traffic.
We have had a good result today and off the back of a strong showing in Imola, this is very pleasing to see. The Team are working well together and are enjoying putting pressure on our competitors. There is a long race ahead tomorrow, but we have got George into a very good position to continue the push to score points. Nicholas too, although further back than he would’ve liked, is in a position to make good progress during the race.
George Russell: It was a great performance from us. I did not expect Q2 after this morning, yet alone P11 on the grid. We made it happen when it counted which seems to be the theme at the moment. It’s our best qualifying position in three years so I’m really proud. We all have our responsibilities, and as a team we did a really good job.
Tomorrow we’ve got to keep moving forward. We have a good race car – it’s fast on the straights, so let’s see what we can do.
Nicholas Latifi: Today was an improvement as we made some big changes overnight. However, it wasn’t the best qualifying for us, and I wasn’t able to get a clean lap at the end of Q1. I am still struggling with the car balance along with the track surface, as everyone is sliding around. It was a bit of a frustrating day, but the race is tomorrow, and we must focus on that.
Portuguese Grand Prix 2021 – Qualifying