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Russell reveals turbulent air issues hurting Williams race pace

Ben Issatt

Aug. 14, 2020

George Russell has revealed a lack of grip in turbulent air is resulting in his race day woes so far in 2020.
The Williams driver has made Q2 in the past four races, starting as high as 12th twice, but Sundays have been a struggle as he has fallen back to only lead teammate Nicholas Latifi on three occasions with a best finish of P12 at the British Grand Prix.
Asked what was causing that disparity between qualifying pace and race performance, Russell explained it was linked to how sensitive the car was in traffic.
“Just simply, the car isn’t as stable as it should be," he was quoted by GPFans.
“Both myself and Nicholas are really struggling with the stability of the car when we’re following others. Especially at the beginning when you’re following a gaggle of cars, the car is a bit all over the place and we’re really working on that to improve it.
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“We see in the data, we lose a lot of downforce, more than we should, and ultimately as a driver, you’re driving to that limit, but that limit is much lower.
“I always wake up on a Sunday morning raring and confident to send it, but as soon as you get there it’s tricky for whatever reason."
That reason might explain why Russell has seen his strong starting positions undone by errors in the opening laps in Styria and Budapest.
And the Mercedes junior admits those moments are out of character based on past series.
“Like I say, it’s – for me, it’s not been like that in my junior career," he said.
"I’ve always been happy, confident, comfortable on first laps. Statistically, I always was moving forwards on first laps, and it’s just not the same at the moment.
“I’m working as hard as I can to rectify that.”
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