Russian Grand Prix 2020 – Race

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43. Russian Grand Prix, Sunday 27th September 2020. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.

Race Notes

  • Nicholas Latifi finished 16th and George Russell 18th in the Russian Grand Prix
  • George started the race 13th, with Nicholas lining up 20th, both on the medium compound tyre
  • Nicholas made his only stop on lap 17, for the hard Pirelli tyre
  • George made three stops, pitting first under the Safety Car for the hard compound and then once again on lap 14 for the medium. His final stop was on lap 50 for the soft Pirelli tyre.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Following a successful day yesterday, today has been disappointing, including a pre-race gearbox change for Nicholas. At the race start, both drivers had decent launches, although George then lost out in the opening corners. Following the early safety car both struggled with the tyres and George in particular found it difficult to find a rhythm. We opted to pit George early and see if we could take the Prime to the end, but a flat-spot later in the stint meant another stop. In free air Nicholas had decent pace and was able to hold-off Grosjean at the end of the race.

We had a tougher day today than we expected, but we can learn from what happened with the tyres and do a better job next time. The Nurburgring will offer quite a different prospect to Sochi and we look forward to returning to a track that we haven’t been to for some time.

Nicholas Latifi: The race itself was a difficult one to manage. We thought we were going to be more competitive, but we struggled a lot in the opening stint and then didn’t have the pace to come back once we had pitted. I think strategically we did a good job, we benefited from staying out and not pitting straight away. We need to analyse where we could have done better. Overall, I think I drove a good race, a few mistakes here and there, but something that I can learn from.

George Russell: It was a really tough day in the office with a lot of mistakes from my side. I was struggling with the tyres and couldn’t get them working. I have been struggling with the starts a lot this year and I needed to step it up in terms of my confidence, and that’s what I did. I made a really good start, but I was forced off as turn two is so tight. It was three abreast, and three into one doesn’t go. We have a lot to review and some interesting things to take away from this weekend, but ultimately the points are scored on Sunday and we were not good enough today.

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