Williams Racing Driver George Russell achieved a career-best qualifying for the team, posting a quickest time of 1:04.591 to qualify in 9th, while teammate Nicholas Latifi took 18th with 1:05.195.
It gives encouragement to the belief that a top 10 finish is within reach for the talented driver.
Qualifying was pretty special; we usually do well on Saturdays but that was on another level. I had a lot of confidence in the car, which really helped when it came to nailing my Q3 lap with only one shot. P9 in any circumstances is a great place to be, but starting on the mediums with a few cars ahead on the soft tyres puts us in a strong position for the race and hopefully gives us a real advantage when it comes to making strategy decisions. I’m really pleased for the whole team; we’ve managed to keep the momentum going and this is thoroughly deserved after the struggles of last Sunday. I’m very excited for tomorrow.
Nicholas Latifi will have a big job on his hands to improve on his qualifying times and hopefully won’t make the same mistake on turn 3 when he missed the corner which made the uphill challenge even more difficult.
It was a different challenge this weekend for everybody with softer tyres, but I am struggling to get the balance right this weekend and the car dialled in. The first run wasn’t so bad, but the second run I made a mistake in the hairpin of turn three and missed the corner. I got it wrong this time and lost so much time as a result, so obviously very frustrated.
Willaims Head of Racing Performance was upbeat in his comments.
We thought that bettering our qualifying result of last week might be difficult, especially given how tricky it can be on this short track. However, George – aided by the entire team – produced an excellent performance to not only make it to Q3, but to do so on the Medium tyre. There is still a long way to go this weekend, but we can afford a moment of contentment before we move on to the serious business of the race tomorrow.
Having looked at some different set-up directions yesterday, Nicholas settled on a good compromise for today and, but for some traffic, was looking strong in FP3. He completed an aggressive strategy in Q1, and his first run was strong. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite track the pace progression that George found and when the gaps are so small, those fine margins are crucial. He starts the race from 18th place but is in a good position to attack the cars ahead.
Austrian grand prix qualifying results
Elsewhere Max Verstappen took pole to put himself firmly in the driving seat for back to back wins after his Styrian Grand Prix triumph last week. Redbull Teammate Perez took 3rd, which McLaren’s Norris taking 2nd. Lewis Hamilton took 4th which is a huge dent to his title hopes.
|Track: Red Bull Ring, Austria||Weather: Hot & dry conditions|
|Lap Length: 4.318km / 2.683 miles||Temperature: Air: 25-27°C Track: 49-52°C|
|1.||M. Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:04.249||1:03.927||1:03.720|
|2.||L. Norris||McLaren F1 Team||1:04.345||1:04.415||1:03.768|
|3.||S. Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:04.833||1:04.483||1:03.990|
|9.||G. Russell, FW43B-04||Williams Racing||1:04.907||1:04.553||1:04.591|
|18.||N. Latifi, FW43B-01||Williams Racing||1:05.195|