Williams Racing’s George Russell says conditions were tricky at the Yas Marina circuit during qualifying for Sunday’s season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the Englishman qualified in 18th place and speaking following the action he said:
It was really tricky out there. We really struggled with the tyres, Nicholas was also struggling, which was a bit strange as in FP3 the car was good. It’s the last race of the year tomorrow though and that is where it counts. The aim is to try and overtake and move forward where we can. We usually have strong Saturdays and struggle on Sundays so hopefully a poor Saturday means a good Sunday!
Nicholas Latifi who starts the race from towards the back of grid commented saying:
It was quite a disappointing qualifying. On the first set of tyres there were some mistakes, so there was a lot of margin to improve. There was quite a big queue on my second set in the last sector to start the lap, everyone was going excessively slow to try and get their gap and the tyre surface temperatures must have dropped quite low. When I got on the gas there was no grip at all and there was such a big snap that it caught me completely off guard and I spun. I felt there was a decent amount to improve from the first set, but it is what it is. However, I am excited for the last race of the season and I hope we can end the year on a high.
Williams Racing’s Head of Vehicle Performance Development Dave Robson commented saying:
In the evening qualifying session, both drivers struggled with tyre temperature whilst also trying to manage the traffic around them. This left them struggling for grip on both axles. Nicholas underestimated just how low the tyre grip was and span before he crossed the line to open his final lap. George had a better lap but was unable to replicate the performance from FP3 when the tyres were working well. It was a frustrating way to end the final qualifying session of the season. However, we will gain a couple of places on the grid tomorrow and will aim to race hard and finish the season as strongly as we can.