Russell "aiming for points" after qualifying 11th for Portuguese GP

Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell says he has to be "aiming for points" in the Portuguese Grand Prix after qualifying 11th.

Russell "aiming for points" after qualifying 11th for Portuguese GP

Russell only just made it out of Q1 in 15th place, but subsequently achieved what he acknowledged as the best qualifying result of his three-year career at Williams.

Russell bounced back from the disappointment of his huge Imola crash with Valtteri Bottas in some style, while acknowledging that it had not been a straightforward session.

"Yeah, definitely, I was struggling today with the tyres," Russell told Autosport.

"It was difficult to get them in the window, similar to Imola to be honest. And then the more laps I got, the more confidence. Also understanding how to extract the maximum from the car.

"That final lap was really, really good, we were so close to Q3, our best qualifying result ever between myself and Williams over the past three years. So we're in a good position for tomorrow."

Russell was bold enough to try the medium tyre on his first run in Q2, having also preferred it in the last race at Imola.

"I had a really good feeling on the mediums, to be honest. It was a bit of a warm-up run to understand how the tyre reacted, because last year the pole man did it on the mediums, so we had to do it."

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

From 11th, Russell will be the first driver with a free choice of tyres, and unsurprisingly he intends to start on the medium, with which he clearly feels comfortable using.

"We will be on the medium for sure, it's pretty clear cut – if you're outside the top 10, you're on the medium," he said.

"So we've got a real chance, the car's fast, really quick on the straight, we've got the quickest car on the straight, so we've got to be aiming for points."

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His performance also indicated that Williams has stronger potential on different types of tracks after performing so well at Imola last time out before his crash with Bottas.

"Really encouraging, I think it shows it wasn't a one-off," he said. "We saw the worst case scenario in Bahrain, which was still Q2 and finishing 14th or so in the race. So we're looking in good shape for the rest of the season."

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