How strategy confidence helped Russell shock at Spa

Williams team principal Jost Capito says that the Grove-based Formula 1 outfit’s improved strategy management boosted George Russell to second on the grid at Spa.

How strategy confidence helped Russell shock at Spa

After Russell reached Q3 the team decided to focus its efforts on one quick lap right at the end of the session, rather than setting a banker time and then chipping away at it in the rapidly changing conditions.

Capito says that making the top 10 was already a good result and that the team then had nothing to lose by holding out until the end of the session – while knowing that Russell was capable of getting the job done when the pressure was on.

Russell briefly held pole position with his final lap, before being pipped by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

“I think we planned it very well,” Capito told Autosport. “We had enough time to plan what we were doing and how are we doing it and, and basically, we didn't have anything to lose.

“When we make it in Q3 this is the biggest success we can have. So then being 10th finally is fine, isn't it? So we didn't have anything to lose. So we then said we put everything in one lap. And we know that George can do it.

“And not every driver can do it under these conditions, put everything in one lap. And you know, we gave him first lap in the on the wet that he could check the conditions on a safe way. Then he had two laps on the intermediate where he could get everything right.

“He was then in sync with all the others, and could give it in one lap with the whole confidence he could get in the first three laps. He is fantastic.

“I think it was special in every way. It also was not a straightforward qualifying as well. But I think that are the conditions when you can make the difference."

Capito says that this season the team has made big steps on calling the right strategies in both qualifying and races, having improved its internal communications.

“I've seen in Budapest already that the team improves a lot on strategy on decision making,” he explained. “And I think we got very good through the season in taking good decisions on the spot with the right communication, with the right level, with the right communication strategy, who talks to whom, who takes the decisions. I think that is what improved a lot.

“So we can be very quick in taking decisions and then everybody backing them up. I think that's a big improvement we have done.”

Capito has an open mind about what Russell might achieve in Sunday's race.

“We'll see what we can do,” he said. “The weather conditions will very much I think be similar to what they were today. And you have to take the right decisions, you have to be sure what the weather is, you need the good weather information, and then just go with it and see where it ends up. I think to plan a race with these conditions is impossible.

“There's everything from crashing in the first corner until the podium! Anything is possible. That's the great thing of racing, that it's not predictable. You have conditions like this here, I think that's what makes F1 and racing in general very, very special.”

shares
comments

Related video

Perez knew before summer break that Red Bull F1 future was secure
Previous article

Perez knew before summer break that Red Bull F1 future was secure

Next article

Mercedes holds out hope Belgian GP set-up choice will still pay off

Mercedes holds out hope Belgian GP set-up choice will still pay off
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022