Russell pleased with Italy result on one of Williams’ ‘worst three circuits’
After Williams were “murdered” on the straights of Monza, according to George Russell, the team did well to salvage a 14th-place finish, ending up just over a second behind the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. And that performance, says Russell, has given him a number of positives to take away ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Temple of Speed isn’t so kind to Williams’ FW42s, a car struggling with both a lack of downforce and relatively large amounts of drag. In fact, Williams viewed Monza as such a tall task for them to conquer this season that Russell called it “one of the three worst circuits of the year for us, with our straight-line speed”.
Yet, he managed to finish ahead of Kimi Raikkonen – although the Finn did encounter a number of issues in the race – and the Haas of Romain Grosjean. It underlines just how considerable the team’s improvement has been this season.
“We definitely showed good pace, just a bit of a shame at the start, with our straight-line speed, we just got murdered on the straight,” he said.
“But as soon as I was in clear air, the pace was relatively strong. We only finished around 35 seconds off P10, which, for us at this stage, is pretty decent going, especially with what happened at the start.”
Just 1.490s behind Sebastian Vettel at the finish line – the German downcast after a race-ruining spin and penalty – Russell showed that Williams have the ability to put themselves in the mix. And given that Singapore isn’t as power-hungry as Monza, we could see more to come from the team.
“We definitely have some positives to take away, it shows that we did a good job with the set-up, with the tyres, with everything else in our control,” concluded the rookie. “I think we can be quite pleased with the result.”
Williams still have a long way to go if they are to challenge the lower midfield teams, reiterated by the fact that this was their first point-less race at Monza since the start of the hybrid era. But they look a rejuvenated team considering the troubles of pre-season testing, just seven months ago.