Tuscan Grand Prix 2020 – Qualifying

Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Williams Racing FW43. Tuscan Grand Prix, Saturday 12th September 2020. Mugello Italy.

Qualifying Notes

  • George Russell qualified 18th and Nicholas Latifi 19th for the Tuscan Grand Prix
  • George continued to improve throughout the session, with a time of 1:17.232 on his last effort, despite a brief trip through the gravel at the exit of turn seven
  • Nicholas clocked his fastest time of Q1 on his second timed lap with a 1:17.320

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: A small issue with the brake system on George’s car at the beginning of FP3 required some major work to access the damaged component. This gave the mechanics a lot to do to get the car ready for qualifying, robbed George of some valuable track time and meant that we missed some of the set-up work that we were keen to do. Fortunately, we were able to move some of George’s tests to Nicholas, and he and his team did an excellent job to update their run programme and collect the key data. It was a great example of the Team’s agility and highlights the trust across the garage. Based on the results from Nicholas’s car, both drivers were able to go into qualifying with the best set-up on their cars.

The mechanics did a sterling job to repair George’s car after FP3 enabling him to leave the garage on time at the beginning of qualifying. The Q1 session was busy as we looked to maximise track time for both drivers. Both put in strong performances, pushing the limits further on each run. George ran wide at T7 on his final lap, which cost him some time, but he was still able to complete a strong sector three despite coming across Hamilton in the last corner. Nicholas meanwhile had his tyre preparation compromised by traffic on the out-lap and couldn’t improve on his previous best due to too much understeer.

Qualifying was very tight, and the car had the pace to progress to Q2 today. We are a little frustrated by the result this afternoon, but we know that it was very close, and we are happy that we made some good decisions in difficult circumstances. The team have done an excellent job all weekend and although today we fell a little short, we are ready to race hard tomorrow.

George Russell: We were quick from the off and I had a really good feeling in the car. We changed the downforce level from yesterday, which I planned to run this morning but didn’t get the chance to. It was a bit of a change for us, and missing FP3 made it difficult. I am disappointed I couldn’t finish my final lap as that would have been a great way to reward the team, as Q2 was definitely on the cards for us today. A big thanks to the boys for getting my car turned around after FP3 as there was a lot of work on their hands. Nevertheless, I think we did a good job today.

Nicholas Latifi: I was feeling strong after FP3. We made quite a sizeable change going into qualifying and geared the car towards the race tomorrow to have more of a fighting chance. The first run was feeling good, but the balance went in the wrong direction for the second and the third. I was limited with a lot of understeer; we were compensating for that and we kept adding more and more wing. I think there was more today, but I am looking forward to the race tomorrow.

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