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Russell airs worry ahead of Williams exit

Russell airs worry ahead of Williams exit

Russell airs worry ahead of Williams exit

Russell airs worry ahead of Williams exit

George Russell has expressed concern at the sudden loss of pace of his Williams ahead of his impending departure from the team.

Following a stunning run that saw Russell score points in four out of five grands prix from Hungary through to Russia, the Briton has since again drifted towards the rear.

Even Russell's renowned qualifying form has also faded of late after failing to make it out of Q1 in São Paulo, for what was just the second time this season, and finishing slowest in Q2 in Qatar.

That had a knock-on effect for the race at the Losail International Circuit where he was one of four drivers to sustain a puncture.

Like Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, McLaren's Lando Norris and Williams' team-mate Nicholas Latifi, the front-left on Russell's car punctured without warning.

But there were worries before that. He said: "We actually anticipated that prior to the race. It was just the outside shoulder, that front-left that was a limitation, and it would literally just go at some point.

“The reason for it is that we just didn’t have enough pace in the high-speed corners leading onto the straights.

“The guys were already behind me in the high-speed corners. Even if I’d managed any more they would just have overtaken me regardless.

“Nothing to be disappointed about regarding the puncture. It was just a factor of not having enough speed for the rest of the lap.”

Williams frustrated by performance drop off

Russell, who departs for Mercedes at the end of the season, has now finished 15th, 14th, 16th, 13th and 17th in the last five races.

Far from winding down, Russell's work ethic is going unrewarded as the team tries to hang on to eighth place in the constructors' championship, with Alfa Romeo 12 points adrift.

"Everybody within the team is frustrated with the lack of performance at the moment," added Russell.

“We need to go away and understand what’s changed. We’ve got a few indications.

“We’ve always had difficult Sundays but really great Saturdays to compensate and it's been easier to hang on to a position than to attack for a position given our car pace.

“But for whatever reason, the pace hasn’t been there [lately] on a Saturday either.

“So we need to make the most of it in these last two races [in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi] and seal that P8. That’s the main thing for us at the moment.”

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