Russell: Williams still testing in Australian GP

Russell: Williams still testing in Australian GP

George Russell admitted Williams remained in testing mode during the Australian Grand Prix as he and Robert Kubica toured Albert Park well off the pace of their rivals. Russell finished a lap ahead of his experienced team-mate in Melbourne, but played down its significance.

The rookie and Formula 2 champion qualified ahead of Kubica, who suffered front-wing damage on the opening lap and finished last in 17th place.

Russell finished two laps down on race-winner Valtteri Bottas and a lap down on the man who finished one place ahead, Antonio Giovinazzi.

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Williams missed out on the first two days of pre-season testing and Kubica admitted that much of their running in Barcelona had not been especially meaningful, with Russell confirming that the team are still trialling things with the season now under way.

“Personally, I can take a bit of satisfaction from this weekend,” Russell said.

“I think [Saturday] was a really great day for me. I left the circuit with my head held high, [but in the race] we knew what we were in for.

“It wasn’t a fair fight with Robert as he had a bit of damage at the start. For both of us, it was just bring the car home and learn as much as we can.

“We’ve just got to treat these as test sessions because we’re so far behind, and we’ve just got to understand it and almost try things to see what works and see what doesn’t, because for now it doesn’t really make much sense to try and optimise everything when we are that far off the pace.”