After what was an amazing qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, George Russell of Williams Racing will be starting P2 alongside Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen. This is Williams' first front row since Monza 2017.
MotorLat.com attended a media session with Williams' Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson.
When asked about how he felt today about their approach to qualifying and how Toto Wolff described their run as "clever with two consecutive laps defensively" with how organized and special Russell's drive was.
Robson comments, "Final phasing of Q3 we left on full wet not knowing we had plenty of time to make pitstop. After we made the pitstop, George felt that we could do two pushing laps or with track drying one quickly and go full send. Fortunately, today worked out very well. We have very good track position so it just came together nicely. But I think Toto’s description is perfectly worded. We were ahead of the curb and we didn’t have much to lose. His lap was extremely good and made most of every corner of what we were able to give him. It’s hard to describe his performance as he just gets better and better. And that’s what we saw today, he was brave and sensible and quick and calm. Just overall a very professional lad.”
He continues, "With regards to the mindset of what was going on through Q1 and Q2, they’re a lot easier when you’re in our position when we don’t have a vast amount to lose. It’s harder when you have a car that’s expected to be in the top rows but can you afford to spend using up more tyres just getting out of Q1 and Q2. We used inters first and just to build momentum from there as they were the right laps to be on even though it may not count. It was nice to get the drivers' confidence up and to see how aggressive the drivers were to tackle the situation. In Q2, neither driver had any inters left which was an easy game to play for us."
In addition, "Going from inters to wets was not a huge loss. It's just hard to determine the condition of the track. We weren't expecting to be getting a P2 out of this qualifying session. We're very fortunate that the rain meant we could work on the full wets to get the tyres back to full temperature. We used up all our inters to get into Q3."
When asked his opinion on Russell based on his driving performance and skills. Robson responded, "In my opinion, he's exceptionally good- really very good. What makes him like that, is the amount of his natural talent that you can't teach or can't describe. Over the couple years he's been with us, he's been learning and improving - hopefully, in the future, when he looks back, he'll realise how much he's learned over a rough couple of years."
Robson concludes that after points in Hungary and securing a front row spot from today's qualifying session, the team's morale after these big steps forward is "very high."
"Recently in Hungary and today, the results have been satisfying and evident that the team is on the right path overall the team is very happy and if you've seen in the garage this P2 meant everything to everyone."