Russell: P10 is where Williams 'deserved to finish' Russian GP

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George Russell says that despite launching his race from third on the grid in Sochi, P10 at the checkered flag was realistically where Williams deserved to finish.

After his impressive performance in qualifying, the Briton was a pre-race favourite to take the lead on the long run down to Sochi's Turn 2 thanks to his car's low-downforce set-up and top speed.

But as the third member of the unusual trio that led the race off the line, Russell wasn't able to overhaul at the start fellow young guns Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.

The Williams driver nevertheless held his own in third for the duration of his first stint on the medium tyre.

"We were the fastest car on the straight and that was really beneficial," commented Russell after the race. "It was a shame I couldn’t have done much more into Turn 1.

"Carlos was quite aggressive and he had the slipstream from Lando. So I was fighting my own battle but we were in a strong position holding P3 and I was proud we achieved that."

Unfortunately, Russell's switch to the hard tyre after 13 laps saw the future Mercedes driver dwindle down the order and forced to battle his way back up into the top ten which he readily achieved in the second half of the race.

But a switch to inters in the closing stages of the race when the track was hit with a downpour led to a challenging finale for the Williams charger.

"I really struggled on the inters at the end and I think – I don’t know about the others, but I think I was one of the few drivers on used inters because we used all of our tyres in qualifying," Russell said.

"I think we lost out a lot compared to the guys on the new tyres, because from the greasy conditions, the tyres were already like almost going to a slick."

At the end of the day, Russell was satisfied with his race performance and delivering another point to his team.

"I don't think we could have expected much more to honest," he added. "We know the pace of the car, if we pitted early, if we pitted later, everybody else would have found a way around us.

"I don't think the race could have gone much better. We obviously could have dreamt of having an amazing result but that was not realistic and today we finished where we probably deserved to finish."

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