George Russell added yet another point to his and Williams Racing’s tallies for the season, after a brilliant tenth place finish at the crazy Russian Grand Prix. Team-mate Nicholas Latifi retired in the closing stages at the Sochi Autodrom.
Russell held his own brilliantly all race, the British driver maintained his third position starting spot for the opening phase of the race, before being forced to pit by Lance Stroll. Stroll who sat in fourth behind Russell, made an early pit-stop on Lap 12, forcing Russell into the pits on the following lap to prevent being undercut. Unfortunately for Russell the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver found his way past.
This dropped Russell outside the points, where he remained until the closing laps. When the sudden and heavy rain fell in the last handful of laps, Russell was one of the first to pit for Intermediates. This meant he had superior grip compared to those who made the switch too late. By the end of the race Russell found himself crossing the line in tenth, adding yet another point to his increasing tally.
Russell believes himself and the team had a strong race and is proud to have raced against the front-running cars.
“I thought we had a really strong race today. We held our own and made no silly mistakes and that was our Grand Prix throughout. We held third for the first 12 laps and it was quite fun fighting for this position, trying to keep cars like the McLaren, the Mercedes’, and the Aston Martin behind and we have to be proud of this.
“I struggled at the end on the Intermediate tyre as I was on a used set having gone through all of our sets in qualifying yesterday. In the end, it is another point on the board so we will take it. It wasn’t the dream result but before the weekend if we’d have been offered 10th and another point, we would have taken it. Overall, I think it was a good race.”
“I got caught out on the slicks at the end” – Nicholas Latifi
Latifi had a disappointing race, after starting at the back of the field due to an engine penalty, the Canadian struggled to make any progress. Things got even worse for Latifi as when the rain arrived, he got caught out by the slippery surface whilst on slick tyres causing him to clip the barrier at Turn Seven after spinning. This damaged Latifi’s rear wing resulting in the smart decision of retiring the car.
Latifi is frustrated by the race after finding the car really nice to drive during the grand prix.
“Unfortunately, I got caught out on the slicks at the end of the race when it started raining and made a mistake. I couldn’t slow down so spun at Turn seven and clipped the barrier which damaged the rear wing. At that point, there was nothing to play for and it made more sense to retire the car.
“It was a frustrating race because the car felt very nice to drive, possibly the nicest it’s felt, but I couldn’t make much progress at the beginning of the race or follow closely to the Haas in front during the key areas of the track. It’s unfortunate, because the Prime tyre felt good and I think if we’d started higher up we could have maintained position and got a stronger result, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”