George Russell, with his Williams, managed to get into Q2 once again this year.
In Qatar, the young Briton, future Mercedes driver, was very good at leaving the two Alfa Romeo of Raikkonen and Giovinazzi behind him, but then he had to surrender to the limits of his Williams, settling for fifteenth position, right behind Leclerc and Ricciardo.
"I am satisfied with today's work, because we had a few tenths of an advantage over both the Alfa Romeo, that are our main rivals.” said Russell.
“We're too far from Q3 though, but it was still fun out there.
"We struggled to make the most of the tyres, but we were unable to maximize the lap in Q2.
"I think it will be difficult to overtake tomorrow, but this track is new and we will have some unique conditions, so I'm looking forward to starting the race ”.
“Go PUSH” 📻— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) November 20, 2021
Q2 flying lap coming in HOT 🔥 pic.twitter.com/cSZPTPA8Y4
His team-mate Latifi will start from the ninth row, but the comeback tomorrow will be very difficult, as Russell said, given the unique layout of the Losail track.
"The car performed well, I enjoyed it, one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the year.” Latifi stated.
“It is certainly disappointing not to see our performance reflected in the lap time, also because the qualifying position will play a fundamental role in the race, but we are close to our main rivals.
“Overtaking could be difficult, especially in the last part of the track, but we'll see what we can do to gain some positions. "
Also Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams Racing, commented on the qualifying session to Motorlat and other selected media:
“I’m not sure we were that far off from the midfield to be honest, I think we weren’t so far from the McLaren and the Ferrari, and the Aston Martin as well, and I think what George [Russell] said about Q2 is true.” He explained.
“I don’t think it was the downforce that made us struggle, but the tyres made it a bit tricky and difficult to work out, so I think that was what made the difference today.”
Then he opened up about tomorrow’s race and strategy:
“I think the track evolution will be fairly normal, as we’ve seen in qualifying, so we’ll have just a kind of a normal and steady improvement.
“Tomorrow, things will be interesting,” - he said - “I think the wind direction will play an important part, and also the trategy in terms of tyres.”
“We’ll need to be agile in terms of thinking how our tyres are going, so we need to sort out tonight what we’re going to do, find a strategy, I think we’ll go with the plan, but at the same time we’ll need to modify that plan as the race evolves.”