George Russell put on a brave face after Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix despite missing out once again on his first top-ten finish with Williams due to a late charge from a “flying” Fernando Alonso.
Russell’s impressive P8 result in qualifying boded well for the Briton’s chances of finally breaking his duck with Williams and scoring his first points with the Grove-based outfit.
A solid drive saw him spend most of the day in the first half of the field where he sat with just four laps to go, with P10 in sight.
But a charging Alonso crept up on the Russell and eventually overhauled the Williams driver who valiantly defended his spot.
“I did everything I could, but ultimately the speed Fernando had, he was always going to catch, he was absolutely flying,” said Russell.
“He was unfortunate yesterday, he probably should have qualified in the top five, and I guess P11 was the maximum today.”
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Russell admitted that battling for position with the Alpine driver offered him a reminder of what a good scrap felt like.
“It sort of reminded me of my junior days when you were battling wheel-to-wheel week in, week out,” commented the Mercedes protégé.
“I guess the biggest thing was just experience. And getting that feeling doing it in a Formula 1 car is very different with all the downforce and dirty air. So you’re just gaining experience.
“It feels a bit strange, I’ve been here three years now and I haven’t had that many battles.”
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Despite coming up short by just four laps for a championship point with Williams, Russell did not feel defeated.
“Not that disheartened, to be honest, because ultimately you get what you deserve and those guys were faster than us,” he added.
“We did a great job yesterday over one lap but they were inherently that bit faster than us, and were always going to come through.”
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