Russell: Monaco one of the most exhilarating laps of the year

russell, monaco

Williams driver George Russell described Monaco as “one of the most exhilarating and thrilling laps of the season” ahead of the return of the race after a one-year absence.

The 2020 Monaco Grand Prix was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the principality will play host to round five of what has been an exciting 2021 season so far.

Russell has continued to impress in qualifying for Williams but the team are yet to score a point, with their last top 10 finish coming at the 2019 German Grand Prix.

However, with qualifying more important in Monaco than at perhaps any other race, Russell should have hope of securing a strong result, provided he can nail his lap on Saturday.

“I’m really looking forward to Monaco,” he said. “It was a shame to miss the race last year due to the reshuffled calendar as it’s one of the most exhilarating and thrilling laps of the season.

“It will be great to be back, and I can’t wait to get on track and have the overall Monaco experience. It’s also going to be a huge weekend for the team as we mark our 750th race, which is an incredible achievement and something I’m proud to be part of.

Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson, echoed the words of Russell on the team’s landmark and explained that they were looking forward to building on recent “momentum”.

“Returning to the streets of Monte Carlo is a great moment in the season, and a sign that things are continuing to return to normal,” Robson added.

“Having not been here since 2019, we are desperate to get the cars out on to the tight and twisty track and to see how the circuit has evolved over the last two years. Coming from Barcelona, we couldn’t have a much bigger contrast in circuit style and layout, but the basic requirements from the car will be unchanged, with driver confidence crucial to success.

“With only 60 minutes practice sessions, the track is likely to be busy and consequently completing high quality clean laps will be difficult. Testing new parts is very difficult in Monaco and so we will dedicate most of our track time to dialling in both the car and the drivers to the street circuit in preparation for the all-important qualifying session on Saturday.

“Pirelli have naturally brought their softest compounds to this event and this will be the first time that we have raced with this combination in 2021. All the compounds should offer long life and low degradation, but the Hard tyre could prove a tricky compound to keep in its ideal working window.

“We are looking forward to taking on the challenge of this famous street circuit and seeing how much performance we can find from the FW43B and the drivers. The whole team have been encouraged by our recent progress and are very keen to maintain the momentum here in Monte Carlo.”