Hungarian Grand Prix – George Russell hopes to have marked a turning point in Williams’ season after delivering their best qualifying performance of the season.
After a wave of updates to the FW42 in recent races, the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend appears to be the first event where Williams have begun to close up to the midfield.
In particular, the car has needed higher levels of downforce, and the Hungaroring has one of the higher downforce requirements of the season.
As a result, for the first time this season, Russell – who had the a big pace advantage over team-mate Robert Kubica – had an opportunity to progress into Q2.
He missed out by less than half-a-tenth of a second, but was nevertheless buoyed by the increased competitiveness of the Williams car.
“I am ecstatic with qualifying. We have really turned the page this weekend with our update and understanding the tyres,” said Russell.
“It was a shame to miss out on Q2 but considering everything, we are over the moon. I felt comfortable inside the car, probably the happiest that I have been all year. It was a joy to drive and I’m really pleased with the lap.
“Regardless of tomorrow, we will enter the summer break on a positive note, knowing that we achieved this result on merit.”
In contrast, Kubica finished over one second off the pace of Russell, but put this down to “desperate” setup changes:
“We were lucky with the weather and support today, but unfortunately the pace is what it is. I felt happy with the car and with the balance, but in general I lacked grip. We were lacking half a second, we tried something desperate and as you can see it did not work.”