Russell stars in Austrian GP qualifying, just misses out on race points

George Russell and his Williams Racing team continued their encouraging start to the 2021 Formula One season by making it through to Q3 for the first time before agonisingly missing out on race points.

Russell has made it through to Q2 in every grand prix of the season so far, but this was his most impressive outing to date, making it to Q3 and on the yellow-banded medium rubber.

“Qualifying was pretty special; we usually do well on Saturdays but that was on another level,” said Russell. “I had a lot of confidence in the car, which really helped when it came to nailing my Q3 lap with only one shot. P9 in any circumstances is a great place to be, but starting on the mediums with a few cars ahead on the soft tyres puts us in a strong position for the race and hopefully gives us a real advantage when it comes to making strategy decisions.

“I’m really pleased for the whole team; we’ve managed to keep the momentum going and this is thoroughly deserved after the struggles of last Sunday.”

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43B. Austrian Grand Prix, Saturday 3rd July 2021. Spielberg, Austria.

Because he qualified for Q3 on the medium compound, it gave Russell and the Williams team optimum strategy for race day. Alas, yet again it was just not to be, Russell overtaken by Alonso with just three laps of the race remaining.

“Today was so close, yet so far,” reflected Russell. “I got off the line well at the start, but then Tsunoda had quite a big lock up and cut in front of me to avoid going into his teammate, so I had to get on the brakes and lost a couple of places. That didn’t really change the outcome of our race as there were faster cars that were always going to finish ahead of us.

“That P10 point would feel like a race victory for us, so I was fighting with everything I had. Of all the drivers to have behind you in this situation, Fernando wouldn’t be who you’d choose; he was flying and holding him off just wasn’t possible on my tyres. We’re all disappointed to miss out by such a small margin, but we’re making real progress and we’ll take the positives on to Silverstone.”

Regardless of yet again just failing to make it through to pick up points, the team is certainly headed in the right direction and it is surely just a matter of if, and not when now.

Williams Racing is pleased to welcome Vuzion, a UK-based cloud distributor, as the Acronis #CyberFit Delivery Partner, in line with the Cyber Protection Partnership between Williams and Acronis that was renewed earlier this year.

To find out more about Acronis #TeamUp Program for Managed Service Providers, visit

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43B makes a pit stop. Austrian Grand Prix, Sunday 4th July 2021. Spielberg, Austria.

Motorsport Technology