Russell calls for aero fix for "very draggy" Williams
George Russell is hoping Williams' aero department can find a cure for what he has described as a "very sensitive" car when in dirty air.
It is clear that after the worst season in the team's history last year, Williams has at least made progress this season following the two races in Austria, and it no longer is virtually guaranteed to occupy the last row of the grid in qualifying.
But Russell has encountered a problem during racing he is hoping can be fixed as soon as possible to ensure it does not hold him and the team back as the season progresses, particularly given the progress on the power unit side by supplier Mercedes.
"I think Mercedes has made a great improvement, some really good gains from last year with the qualifying modes, which definitely helps us, in comparison to Haas and Alfa, who I think have taken a step backwards, from the power unit side with Ferrari," revealed Russell.
"But we are really struggling when we are close to cars ahead of us. The car feels very sensitive from an aero perspective. When I'm in clean air the car feels good. When I'm within two to three seconds of a car, I'm really struggling, which is an issue."
As to whether that will hamper the team's target of scoring points again this season, Russell added: "You obviously score your points on Sunday when you're racing, but as we know qualifying is key at a lot of these circuits.
"I think we have a relatively quick car in clean conditions. We've had two races at the same track, a unique circuit, [and] we're still learning the car, obviously.
"I hope the aero department can go away, understand the issues, make some small changes and give us a bit more of a stable platform when following."
Russell, who gave Williams its first Q2 slot for the first time since the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix following a superb performance in the wet at the Red Bull Ring for the Styrian Grand Prix, is hoping to repeat the feat in regular conditions at the Hungaroring this weekend.
"On paper, I would say the car suits Hungary slightly better than it does here, which is a positive," said Russell.
"We do still have a very draggy car. The power unit does make up for that over a single lap, but I think when things are stable in a race, that's why we seem to struggle a bit more.
"For Hungary, the drag factor and the power unit side doesn't make such a huge difference. Hopefully, we had a strong performance there last year, it's a track I really enjoy driving. Q2 has absolutely got to be the aim."
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