George Russell was extremely satisfied with his weekend in France. On Saturday the British driver, who has reached Q2 in every race of the season so far, outqualified his teammate Nicholas Latifi and secured P14 on the grid. His race didn't start in the best way, as he dropped soon to P18.
However, he managed to recover and even improve his starting position by pulling an impressive streak of overtakes, ending the race in P12 for his best result ever with Williams, a position that also brings back the British team in the Constructors' Championship in P9, ahead of Haas.
Even though Russell is still waiting for his first points with Williams, after getting his first points at Sakir with Mercedes in the last season, he was pretty pleased with his driving, considering the talent and the experience of the drivers he fought against to defend his track position.
"Yes, it was a really good afternoon. [We had] a couple of overtakes, managed to finish ahead of Ocon, the Alfas, Tsunoda. Managed to overtake Tsunoda on track – really happy about that to be honest," he said in a post-race interview.
His result is even more impressive considering that it came in a GP without any retirement, only the tenth time in the history of F1.
"We were there on merit, the car was [fast], that strategy was really well managed, so I’d go as far as saying that’s probably our best race we’ve ever had together with Williams," he added.
The Williams driver, in his third F1 season, said that a key factor that helped him to get his final race result was tyre management:
"It was that limit between keeping the temperature in [the tyres] but not graining them: if you pushed too hard you had a chance of graining them; if you went too slow they would drop out the window."
His hard work payed off in the end, as it allowed him to pass Yuki Tsunoda's AlphaTauri in the final laps for P12:
"So you’re just balancing this throughout the whole race but we did it really, really well, and like I said, happy to have managed to do the move at the end."
Russell wasn't still completely satisfied with his driving, as he believes he could have done better in the first laps of the race, but doesn't think it affected strongly the final outcome:
"It was a shame about those opening laps; I made a really bad start, really struggled, but I don’t think it changed a really huge amount."
"At the end, I think P12 was our absolute maximum. It was just a shame nothing really happened in front because P12 in merit for us is really strong," he concluded.
Today was great. P12 on merit is a mega result for us! Merci. 💙 pic.twitter.com/Mk0JnLBUGK— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) June 20, 2021