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Russell hoping for easy pickings with sprint "attack"

Russell hoping for easy pickings with sprint "attack"

F1 News

Russell hoping for easy pickings with sprint "attack"

Russell hoping for easy pickings with sprint "attack"
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

George Russell has vowed to go “on the attack” for glory in the new sprint race on Saturday as he feels the more cautious midfield cars could be easy pickings.

Russell’s Williams has been faster over a single lap than in race trim this season, but far from feeling disadvantaged by the grid-deciding sprint format, he believes it could turn into a great opportunity for his backmarker team.

“It’s going to be interesting,” said Russell. “It’s all a bit of an unknown for everybody but we’re in a good position.

"There will be a lot of midfield drivers taking a bit of caution because they just want to finish and be in a half sensible position for Sunday.

“For us who are often in the P12 to P15 range, there’s an opportunity to go slightly more on the attack and take advantage of those drivers just trying to secure a sensible place finish for Sunday. We have to be the ones to make the most of it.”

Russell – Sprint will call on new skillset for drivers

The teams have precious little time to prepare for the sprint race, with just a single practice session instead of the usual three before the qualifying runs that will decide the grid for Saturday’s new event.

Briton Russell feels that will create an added challenge for drivers and engineers alike.

“The new format is going to show the drivers need a bit of a different skillset, really," added Russell.

“The [usual] three sessions give the driver and the team three opportunities to nail the driving and to nail the set-up ready for qualifying, whereas now there’s going to be a lot more…you’ve just got to get on with it.

“The drivers are going to have to adapt to the situation, adapt to difficulties because no car is going to be as good or as nicely set up as it would be ordinarily and I think that is good because it puts a bit more of a challenge on the drivers.

“The teams and engineers have gone through quite a lot more [planning] than we as drivers have, purely because from our side we are just driving the car really.

“The sprint race will be actually quite straightforward, there will be no pit stops, just lights out and away you go."

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