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Alfa Romeo "priority number one" denying Russell points

Alfa Romeo "priority number one" denying Russell points

F1 News

Alfa Romeo "priority number one" denying Russell points

Alfa Romeo "priority number one" denying Russell points

Alfa Romeo head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar has claimed the team's "number one priority" is keeping Williams driver George Russell off the F1 scoresheet.

Russell has not yet registered a point in his two-and-a-half years with Williams with his only points coming from a single outing for Mercedes last year when he deputised for Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

The British driver has continued his impressive form on Saturdays this season, reaching Q3 at each of the last two races, and flirting with the points on a regular basis.

Fearing a resurgent Williams could overtake Alfa Romeo in the standings, Pujolar revealed maintaining Russell's zero score to be the team's priority.

He said: "This is at least until... we need to have more advantage in the championship but priority number one for us is to control them in the championship and at the moment in the championship, Russell is the main threat.

“As always, our mission is to achieve points but also to try to control Russell or make sure that he does not achieve the points."

Raikkonen "missing it" in qualifying

Kimi Raikkonen has struggled in qualifying this year, exiting the three-part session in Q1 at six of the first 10 races, a fate suffered by team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi just twice.

Both drivers have, however, registered only a single point this year and Raikkonen in fact sits atop his team-mate in the standings by virtue of a pair of 11th place finishes.

Pujolar explained: “In terms of race pace, I think both drivers are there. In terms of qualifying, as I say, everything is very, very tight and sometimes it can go that Kimi is just missing it.

“Obviously, our target is to have both cars in Q2 and with the sprint quali then we had both cars in Q2 [positions] because we had both cars between P10 and P15 because Kimi is actually generally quite good.

“Both of our drivers, if you look at the average of the season start on lap one, they are always reasonably good, if anything, gaining positions and Kimi is probably one of the best.”

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