George Russell is maintaining a head of realism heading into the opening round of the FIA Formula One world championship.
“No doubt we’re in a better position,”
Russell told Autosport.
“I think realistically, we are still the slowest car.”
“We’re not going to get carried away with ourselves, but we’ve definitely reduced the gap.”
“That’s all we could have hoped for over over the winter.”
Russell scored zero points throughout all of his debut season last year. The once dominant Williams team finishing the year with just a solitary point courtesy of a post-race penalty for both Alfa Romeo’s at the German Grand Prix.
At last season’s Australian Grand Prix, Russell qualified 19th and 1.3s behind the next highest qualifier.
It didn’t look any better as teammate Robert Kubica was a further 1.7s behind Russell.
All of this from a team that failed to design a car in time for preseason testing.
But already 2020 seems a lot more positive for Williams. Whilst Russell believes the team will still be at the back of the grid, no doubt they have closed the gap to the front.
“We’ll go into Melbourne and see, but don’t expect to see us in Q2 or Q3.”
“We’ve definitely improved but expectations are all under control.”
“Last year when we outperformed our car we were still qualifying 19th and finishing 19th, so I hope this year when people slip up and we perform well, that’s when we can take the opportunities.”
“I know where we’ve gained, but quantifying it versus the other teams is difficult.”
The Australian Grand Prix will be held on March 15 from Albert Park.