Williams have to be ‘ready to pounce’ on others’ errors to score points in 2020, says Russell
Williams have to be “ready to pounce” on errors by other teams and drivers to score points in 2020, says George Russell, with the British driver admitting the team lacks the outright pace to seal regular top 10 finishes.
Points have been elusive for Williams in the past few seasons. They scored seven in 2018 and just one in 2019 that was clinched by former driver Robert Kubica at a manic Hockenheim race. And though they clearly have a faster car this season, Russell still thinks scoring points will be a “tough” ask.
“We definitely have to aim for that [points] but realistically it’s going to be quite tough on pure pace,” he explained on Thursday before his second home Grand Prix at Silverstone.
“We are going to have to capitalise on other peoples’ errors. We’ve already seen quite a crazy race in the first race of the season [Austria].”
In Austria, Russell retired from 13th having qualified 17th in a race of attrition that claimed six other cars including Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo’s. Since then, he’s made it to Q2 in Styria and Hungary – but has yet to convert those qualifying performances into points.
“All we can do is continue to do the best job we can on Saturday and be ready on a Sunday to pounce,” continued Russell. “We’ve always seen it every year, there’s always one or two crazy races every year and we need to make sure we’re on top it when they come our way.”
Russell's team mate Nicholas Latifi, gearing up for his maiden British Grand Prix in his rookie F1 season, came very close to points having finished 11th in that aforementioned “crazy” Austrian Grand Prix.
“It definitely has to be the goal and the aim,” he added. “If we can continue to every now and then get into Q2 and, like George showed he was on the cusp of getting into Q3, if we can continue that rhythm and that trend in qualifying that puts us much closer to the points.”
He pointed to the example of Haas, who had Kevin Magnussen finish 10th last time out in Hungary after a brave strategy call.
“We saw with Haas, they made a bold call and something went in their favour quite a bit. We definitely want to be challenging for the points but we’re under no illusion that it will be difficult, still.”
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