Williams: Qualifying Q3 showing is not inevitable

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Closing in on Q3 at Imola, Dave Robson has downplayed suggestions it is “inevitable” that Williams will make it into the shoot-out this season.

George Russell is yet again proving to be Mr Saturday, the Williams driver one of the stars of qualifying.

The Brit has made it into Q2 in three from three grands prix weekends, missing out on a Q3 berth by 0.123s at Imola and a mere 0.057s at the Algarve circuit.

It has some suggesting that it is inevitable that Williams will reach Q3 before the season is out.

Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance, admits there is still a “lot of work” that needs to be done for that to happen.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, for sure,” he told Autosport.

“[But] I think we’re heading in the right direction – the momentum is good.

“I’m glad we backed up the performance in Imola [in qualifying]. There’s still a lot of work to do.

“So yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s inevitable. We’re pushing towards that top 10, but it’s so dependent on how each team develops their car over the coming weeks now.

“A lot still do, but [I’m] much more hopeful than I was 12 months ago. Definitely – it’s good.”

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Russell arrived at the Portuguese Grand Prix under a cloud, the Williams driver heavily criticised for his crash with Valtteri Bottas that cost both drivers points at Imola.

Russell’s reaction to the crash, a slap at Bottas, didn’t go down well either.

He has since apologised, admitting he has to learn how to deal with “handle things differently”.

Robson has been impressed with his driver’s response.

“I think he was very sensible and mature about understanding what had happened and why, and the consequences of that incident,” he said.

“It is just him growing, isn’t it, and I think you’ve got to have some experiences like that in order to know how to deal with them in the future.

“So, fair play to him, I think it was quite a good effort from him afterwards to admit that he’d had a bit of a chance to think about it and he would do it differently again.”

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