Russell: Williams mileage a "huge relief"

Williams Formula 1 rookie George Russell has described the team's productive start to the final Barcelona pre-season test as a "huge relief" after its dramas last week.

Russell: Williams mileage a "huge relief"

The British team started testing in Spain late because of build delays with its new FW42.

Russell kicked off the second test on Tuesday by completing 119 laps, 31 more than the team managed across its day-and-a-half of activity in the first week.

"After the last couple of weeks it's a huge relief to get a day like today," said Russell, who finished ninth-fastest, 1.9s off the pace.

"We've learned so much about the car at lower fuel and higher fuel, it gives us such a good indication moving forward into the next few days, and for the guys back at the factory who are already designing the upgrades."

Russell gave the FW42 its first on-track run last week but racked up just 40 laps over the next day, while teammate Robert Kubica managed 48.

It meant Williams's appearance in week one was little more than a glorified shakedown, but Russell said the point was to make sure it could hit the ground running this week.

He described it as a "proper day one" for the team and said he can start to feel the car's potential.

"It certainly hasn't made up for last week because everyone else at this stage is fine-tuning the balance, whereas we're needing to understand the car," said Russell.

"But I feel we're in a good spot. The car isn't in a perfect window right now but I feel like it's definitely got the potential."

Williams ran its car in a compromised state last week while it completed its initial runs, although Russell said it was "probably 95%" of what it is running now.

He hailed the effort that the team has put in after the delays and said the reward for everybody putting "their heart and soul into make sure today ran smoothly" was Williams being able to complete its Tuesday running exactly as planned.

"I think everybody's happy with today's performance – not in terms of lap times but in terms of no issues," he said.

"Everybody's working so hard. We're all human. Everybody is pretty knackered. They've been performing 24/7 over the last two weeks to get us ready."

In terms of performance, Russell said the balance was "not correct" on Pirelli's softer compounds but reckoned that was "only normal" so early in the team's programme.

"We're still finding the limitations, what the different compounds do," he said.

"There was no reason to worry we didn't find the lap time we should have done, because that should come.

"There's definitely room for improvement on the softer compounds but we've only ran two sets of C3, one set of C4 and one C5 with lower fuel. We're still learning."

George Russell, Williams FW42

George Russell, Williams FW42

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Norris sets F1 test pace as Mercedes hits trouble
Previous article

Norris sets F1 test pace as Mercedes hits trouble

Next article

Magnussen: New aero rules make a “big difference” following cars

Magnussen: New aero rules make a “big difference” following cars
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021