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Portuguese GP: Qualifying team notes - Williams

NEWS STORY
24/10/2020

George Russell qualified 14th and Nicholas Latifi 20th for the Portuguese Grand Prix. George made his seventh Q2 appearance this season, clocking a time of 1:17.788 on his last effort. Nicholas continued to improve his pace throughout the session, setting a best time of 1:18.777 on his final run.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: George made the most of the car and the conditions this afternoon and drove very well to achieve a good grid position. The team got his car working well, the tyres in a decent window and found him some excellent positions on the track, which wasn't always easy as different drivers followed a variety of run plans. His lap in Q2 was a very well-constructed lap and allowed him to beat the Ferrari of Vettel and get very close to P11.

Nicholas had a change of chassis overnight and his crew did an excellent job of getting his car ready for FP3. He had a good session this morning and felt quite comfortable in the car. In qualifying Nicholas had a strong opening run and was unfortunate to have his quickest lap deleted due to a tight call on track limits. His second run was hurt a little by the change in wind conditions but nonetheless he prepared the tyres well. A snap of oversteer in the middle of his last timed lap cost him crucial laptime and damaged the tyres.

With the time lost due to red flags in FP2, there is likely to be a range of strategies tomorrow. We think we are in a good position for both of our drivers to attack the cars ahead and hopefully the length of the 'straight' from T14 to T1 will provide some overtaking opportunities.

George Russell: It is an amazing track and the car was feeling good. In the end I think we were only a tenth and a half from P11 which is extraordinary for us. We are all pushing as hard as we can to get everything we can out of this car, we are making good progress and the hard work is paying off. We have a car that is more optimised for the race tomorrow, but we will have to wait and see how it unfolds as nobody knows how the tyres are going to handle this new circuit as FP2 got cut short. It will be exciting, potentially with a bit of rain on the way, and I will be giving it everything I have got.

Nicholas Latifi: I didn't put my laps together and I am quite frustrated with myself. There was definitely much more pace in the car. I had a laptime deleted due to track limits which was my mistake on the first set and then I just couldn't put it together on the second set.

There are a lot of unknowns for the race tomorrow, as yesterday's FP2 running was quite compromised with the red flags. We made some big changes overnight and straight away this morning the car was feeling much more in the window and gave me more confidence. I hope that will translate into race pace, so I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Portimao, here.

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