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Russell "not looking in my mirrors" after cruel Q3 near-miss

Russell "not looking in my mirrors" after cruel Q3 near-miss

F1 News

Russell "not looking in my mirrors" after cruel Q3 near-miss

Russell "not looking in my mirrors" after cruel Q3 near-miss

George Russell has insisted he only has eyes on the top 10 after another stellar qualifying performance saw him take P11 on the grid for the Styrian Grand Prix.

The British driver, who has yet to be beaten by a Williams team-mate in F1 qualifying in 46 races, finished just 0.008secs away from Lance Stroll's Aston Martin to miss out on a place in the top-10 shootout.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 if there was time to be gained on track, Russell replied: "I am sure it was. I am sure there was 0.01secs somewhere, the same for everybody, pushing to my absolute limits.

"The lap was really strong, to be honest, the car came alive again when it mattered. It is often so frustrating when it is so close. What was it, eight one-thousandths? Which is obviously nothing. Free tyre choice for tomorrow which is not a bad place to be.

"Happy with the progress we are making, to be honest. We are putting more and more effort into Sunday and to still get a good result on Saturday was pleasing."

Russell will actually line up 10th on the grid due to AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda being handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas during Q3.

Williams and Russell, though, have historically struggled to find pace during races compared to his one-lap prowess.

But on his chances at the Red Bull Ring, he added: "We have been putting more and more emphasis on Sunday and our race pace has been relatively strong on Friday, which doesn't account for a lot but it counts for something.

"We are here on merit today, we did a good job, the car is looking strong and I am feeling good inside the car.

"Everyone is doing a good job so there is no reason we can't keep them there. I'm not looking in the mirrors, I am looking forward and I want to get in that top 10."

Russell praises recent set-up changes

Russell has made a habit of qualifying for Q2 this season despite Williams' tag as a backmarker team.

In the races, however, the Briton has tended to slip back into a battle with Haas in order to avoid propping up the constructors' championship.

On whether the car feels improved compared to the start of the season, Russell revealed: "It does, to be honest.

"We are understanding it more and more every single week and we have done some different set-up changes in recent races and they seem to be working really nicely at the moment.

"Every race I am doing, we are just learning and we are pleased to be in this position. We have a good chance tomorrow so I hope for a good night's sleep."

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