03 Jul 2021
2021 Austrian Grand Prix Qualifying
- George Russell qualified 9th and Nicholas Latifi 18th for the Austrian Grand Prix
- George achieved a career-best qualifying for the team, posting a quickest time of 1:04.591 in the Q3 session
- Nicholas set his fastest time on his second flying lap of the Q1 session, posting a 1:05.195
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: 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.
George Russell: 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: 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. Our car has some glaringly big weaknesses and it is a flip of the coin in qualifying of whether you get the corner right or wrong, which as a driver is not how you want to approach certain corners. I got it wrong this time and lost so much time as a result, so obviously very frustrated.