Russell: Williams car 'felt the best it has ever felt' in Spanish GP

George Russell says his Williams car "felt the best it has ever felt" in any other race as... The post Russell: Williams car 'felt the best it has ever felt' in Spanish GP appeared first on F1i.com.

Russell: Williams car 'felt the best it has ever felt' in Spanish GP

George Russell says his Williams car "felt the best it has ever felt" in any other race as the Briton put himself on the fringe of his first world championship point with the Grove-based outfit in Spain on Sunday in Barcelona.

Russell was among those that pitted during the early safety car period, swapping his soft tyres for a set of mediums, gaining several positions thereafter as he battled his way through the lower tier of the field.

Russell's steady pace continued after his second stop allowing him to reach the top ten as he followed Alpine's Fernando Alonso. But a gradual fall-off in performance of his second set of medium tyres saw the Williams driver fall down the order in the race's closing stages.

But Russell was happy to have "rolled the dice" in terms of his team's strategy.

"I'm really pleased that we rolled the dice and we found ourselves in that position," said Russell.

"I think in those fine margins, who knows what would have happened had I cleared him [Alonso], but all in all I think we did a really good job.

"The car felt today the best it has ever felt in a race, and probably the best I can remember.

"That is what makes it so joyous to drive compared to normal, most of which I put down to a calm day. We know the beast we have."

  • Read also: F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2021 Spanish GP

Williams' FW43B design was a difficult proposition in the windy conditions the team encountered in Bahrain and at Portimão. But Barcelona's calmer environment in that respect catered to the car's qualities.

"It was just a car on a consistent day," Russell explained. "The wind was less than 10km/h and there were minimal gusts, which made the car consistent to drive. And when it is consistent as a driver, you can drive around it.

"I think that is something Nicholas and I have really struggled with, especially in Portimao that was really exposed. It was incredibly inconsistent and, as a driver, you lose all the confidence.

"Then it has a negative effect on the tyres and you just get this downward spiral. Whereas days like today, where the car is nice and consistent as a driver, you can really push it to its limit and manage the car and its tyres as you wish and really optimise everything.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a lot of people felt their car was a lot better. But we take a bigger jump when these conditions are favourable."

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Wolff radio message showed 'who is in command' – Steiner

Haas boss Guenther Steiner mocked Toto Wolff's call to race control to complain about Nikita Mazepin in the... The post Wolff radio message showed 'who is in command' – Steiner appeared first on F1i.com.

Wolff radio message showed 'who is in command' – Steiner

Haas boss Guenther Steiner mocked Toto Wolff's call to race control to complain about Nikita Mazepin in the Spanish GP, saying the message was about the Mercedes boss showing "who is in control".

As race leader Lewis Hamilton barreled down on Mazepin to lap the Russian in Sunday's race, Wolff felt compelled to make a rare call from the Mercedes garage to FIA race director Michael Masi to request that blue flags be shown in short order to the Haas driver.

"Michael, blue flags," said Wolff. "Michael this guy makes us lose the position."

The blue flags were duly shown to Mazepin who put himself out of Hamilton's way.

Steiner said he hadn't heard the call which was broadcasted live over F1's world TV feed, but felt that criticism of his driver in this case was unwarranted.

"Nikita told me, I didn’t hear the message," he said after Sunday's race. "They just told me in the debrief that Toto said something, but I don’t know exactly why he said it because I don’t know the circumstances.

"I think Nikita did a good job to get out of it and maybe Toto being Toto just wanted to make sure that he showed who is in command here and that everybody should move when he is coming along.

"He didn’t let his guys do that work. He wanted a bit of publicity I guess."

  • Read also: Wolff appeal to race control over Mazepin a 'very rare' call - Masi

As for Mazepin, the 22-year-old rookie, who has found himself this season on the receiving end of a few of his collegue's anger out on the track more times than he cares to remember, he admitted that blue flags were an unfamiliar sight in his motorsport career before his graduation to F1.

"I was dealing with these blue flags for first time in my life", Mazepin explained.

"I've previously never had a blue flag on a consistent basis, so it's a matter of learning just the same as driving.

"It took me about a good five, seven years to learn proper driving and it's gonna take me hopefully a few weekends only to learn the blue flags."

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