Russell ‘gutted’ for Williams as bad luck spoils points run
George Russell rued a mechanical issue that put a premature end to his Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday as the Williams driver was valiantly battling in the points.
Russell immediately gained two positions following the opening lap contact between Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly that forced both drivers into the pits, but the Briton held his own thereafter, settling in behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and just ahead of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.
However, one third into the 71-map race, a gremlin crept into his Mercedes power unit and weighed on his performance. Eventually, Williams was left with no other choice but to pit its driver and call it a day.
“I’m just gutted for the team to be honest,” said a downbeat Russell the race.
“You know, they’ve worked so hard to be in this position over the past three years, chasing these points.
“We never really knew when they would come and we knew we’d have to have a perfect weekend and, you know, we were in such a great position – P8, on the medium tyre – we would have been able to pounce at the end.
“And I think P7 was probably possible, ahead of Alonso and there’s four or six points, is massive. It’s the difference probably between P8 and P10 in the championship.”
Russell said he wasn’t surprised to find himself battling in the thick of F1’s midfield given the progress of Williams FW43B of late.
“I wasn’t surprised to be honest because I know we’ve done some really great work recently to improve the car and I knew the pace on Friday was strong,” he said;
“I was obviously on the mediums compared to the guys ahead on the softs, so I was driving my heart out, driving as fast as I could to keep behind the Ferrari and AlphaTauri and McLaren, you know?
“We’re not normally in this position so we should be proud of the job we did. Racing is just brutal.”
Read also: Russell ‘quite happy’ to stay at Williams if shunned by Mercedes
Despite the disappointment, Russell admitted to looking forward to starting all over next week at the Red Bull Ring.
“It’s obviously different, we have different compound of tyres next week to play a big part into it all,” he explained;
“But you know, we did things perfectly until that point and repeating that and relying on others to not do things perfectly is not easy.
“And that’s the thing for us, we know that these opportunities don’t come every day and we have to do everything great, and others need to make mistakes for us to capitalise and today was that day for us.
“This is racing, it’s not meant to be easy.”
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