Russell thought he was in fight for sixth at one point in Monaco GP

Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell says he thought he was in the fight for sixth place at one stage during Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix

Russell thought he was in fight for sixth at one point in Monaco GP

Russell outqualified Robert Kubica, taking the penultimate slot on the grid, but fell behind his team-mate on the first lap.

He then pitted for hard tyres - which meant he did not have to stop again - at the same time as the frontrunners, when the safety car was deployed after a puncture for the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

After Antonio Giovinazzi tagged Kubica into a spin on lap 15, Russell slipped by them both to run behind Nico Hulkenberg's Renault in a five-car train following in the wake of Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo.

Such was the slow pace of the frontrunners at this point that Russell's engineers briefly thought a points finish might be possible.

But as the leaders picked up their pace and Raikkonen continued to eke out his tyres, not stopping until lap 46, that hope evaporated.

"It could have turned out even better," Russell, who finished 15th, told Autosport.

"One of the guys was bunching everybody up in the pack and holding us up, unfortunately, but there was one point where we thought we were going to be ahead of [Carlos] Sainz in P6.

"From my side I was really happy with the race, we weren't really fighting for anything in the final half of the race but I wanted to treat it like we were, because I've got to test myself and put it on the limit so that when the time comes and we are fighting, I know what to expect.

"I was giving it everything out there and I think the times were fairly decent."

McLaren's Lando Norris, running in 10th for several laps before his late stop, also opened up a gap ahead of him to protect team-mate Sainz.

But 15th was still an encouraging result for a team that had expected to struggle on the unforgiving street circuit.

Kubica said after practice on Thursday that Monaco's characteristics highlighted the shortcomings of Williams's troubled FW42, which proved to be "slower than we wanted, and maybe what we expected".

Russell said after the race he was delighted with Williams's performance.

"I don't want to say we overperformed but I think we maximised the job," he said.

"It was great to get so many laps under my belt, really pushing my limits.

"There was one point where my engineer came on the radio and said I was lapping at the same pace as the leader."

shares
comments
Magnussen hoped engine of his Haas would blow up in Monaco GP

Previous article

Magnussen hoped engine of his Haas would blow up in Monaco GP

Next article

Promoted: Luxury brand 8Js is inspired by racing, worn by racers

Promoted: Luxury brand 8Js is inspired by racing, worn by racers
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021