The delighted reaction as Williams secure first double points finish since 2018 with Nicholas Latifi 7th, George Russell 8th; Latifi scores first F1 points while Russell, in his third season with team, seals first Williams top 10
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 02/08/21 12:32pm
A tearful and drought-ending George Russell heralded Williams’ “well deserved” double points at the Hungarian GP after the team and both drivers shone on an incident-filled afternoon in Budapest.
In his third season with a famous Grove outfit who have languished at the bottom of the F1 standings in recent years, Russell finally backed up his mighty performances with his first points finish for the team on Sunday, securing eighth place behind team-mate Nicholas Latifi as Williams capitalised on the early-race chaos.
It was also Latifi’s first F1 points, with Williams enjoying their best race since the 2018 Italian GP.
Speaking to media in the pen, an emotional Russell cried as he summed up what the result meant to him.
“So happy and quite emotional to be honest because it means so much more than just the result today,” Russell then said to Sky F1. “It’s three years of hard work and thinking about how many times we haven’t got lucky, we truly deserve this.”
Russell added he was a “bit lost for words”.
“I didn’t think the first points for me and for the team would mean so much,” Russell, who finished ahead of Max Verstappen, stated. “For me that last stint was probably the best stint of my whole career to be honest, fending off from Danny Ric and then getting Max behind me as well.
“Incredible and just so pleased for everyone because it’s been a big old slog the last two and a half years for me, and three and a half years for the whole team. It’s really, really well deserved.”
Russell’s race also contained a good deal of sportsmanship, as he offered to sacrifice his afternoon to help his team-mate – who he has rarely been beaten by in a race and never in qualifying – finish higher.
“If you need to compromise my race to help Nicky, please do it.” said Russell on team radio. “Prioritise Nicky.”
He explained afterwards: “For me, that was not even a question. I’d always prioritise the team over myself.
“We don’t find both cars inside the points very often at all and the points he potentially could have scored if things had been slightly different could have been absolutely massive and stuck P8 in the championship for us which is huge.
“Just really happy for everyone.”
Latifi was also overjoyed after securing his first points in his second F1 season.
“It is an amazing result for the team, and I am so happy for us,” said the Canadian, who ran up in third for much of the early stages. “The team has been knocking on the door of points for a few races now, so to get both cars in the points and to move up to P8 in the championship is amazing.
“The race from my side was very tough to manage, obviously the start in the first corner was what sealed it for me. We struggled in qualifying yesterday, so to come away with a result like this is better than anything we could have hoped for. Overall, it is a really nice way to head into the summer break.”