‘We’ve got a fight on our hands tomorrow,’ says Russell after stellar P14 in Russian GP qualifying
George Russell continued his impressive run of form in 2020 as he secured his sixth Q2 appearance in nine races – and the Williams driver says he is braced for a "fight" in Sunday's race as he chases the first points finish of his F1 career.
Russell will line-up 14th for the Russian Grand Prix after a stellar qualifying lap that was one second clear of his team mate Nicholas Latifi and comfortably good enough to beat rivals Alfa Romeo and Haas.
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“I’m very happy,” said Russell. “We thought we were a bit behind the Alfas and the Haas, so that was our main goal to outqualify them and we obviously did that quite comfortably in Q1. It was a really good lap, and just getting Sebastian at the end, which is a bonus. So we’re pleased.
“It was a really good lap, I’m really pleased. It’s good to be ahead of Sebastian, almost on true pace I’d say, so we’ve got a fight on our hands tomorrow.”
Russell pressurised Vettel for the final point last time out Mugello – with the latter praising the Williams driver for his speed and pressure after the race – but just missed out meaning he’s still searching for his first F1 points.
READ MORE: Verstappen anticipating ‘interesting’ first lap in Sochi after taking 'very unexpected' P2 in qualifying
Ending that run might be challenging this weekend, but Russell is happy with how the team have prepared the car for the race and is ready to get his elbows out to defend from those behind.
“I don’t think the car’s true pace this weekend was as good as it has been at other races,” he said. I think we’re looking in very good shape for tomorrow with the set-up we chose.
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“The last couple of weekends, we have been focusing [preparations] more on Sunday as we have recognised this season our Saturday pace has been good but Sunday not so much.
“We have trimmed it out a bit more to be a bit quicker on the straights. I think we are in a good position for tomorrow.
"But I do think they [Alfa Romeo and Haas] just have the edge on us, so it’ll be a race to try and drive as quick as I can and checking my mirrors and making sure they don’t overtake me.”