George Russell continued to impress in his second season in Formula 1, especially with his super-sub performance at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Here are the facts and statistics from Russell’s 2020 F1 season!
George Russell is still yet to score a point for Williams. He came close to doing so, before crashing out under Safety Car conditions at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – a rare low moment in a season of strong performances.
Russell is still yet to be out-qualified by a Williams team-mate. The team’s car may have been a little too far off the pace to score in 2020, but Russell still had plenty of opportunities to impress. He got his Williams car into Q2 on no less than nine occasions in 2020 – something which his team-mate did only once. On average, Russell was faster than his team-mate by over three tenths per sector – the largest advantage for any driver this season. He also hooked his best three sectors together in a single qualifying lap on five occasions this year, which is more times than any other driver was able to.
With Lewis Hamilton contracting coronavirus, Mercedes turned to Russell to fill the empty seat. Impressively, Russell qualified within three hundredths of Valtteri Bottas and took the lead on the opening lap. He led comfortably, until a pit stop disaster for Mercedes, which saw both drivers finish down the order. Nevertheless, Russell scored the first points of his career and proved that he would be ready to step up to a top team.
Despite some media speculation over Williams’ driver line-up following the team’s change of ownership, Russell’s future at the team was confirmed in October. If Russell continues his stellar performances, it may well be his final year with the team before Mercedes take on his services on a more permanent basis.
- Championship Position: 18th
- Total Points: 3
- % of teams’ points scored: -%
- Points Scoring Races: 1
- Best finish: 9th (Sakhir)
- Number of starts: 17
- Number of non-finishes: 4
- Number of finishes: 13
- Laps Led: 59
- Laps Complete: 910
- % of Laps Complete: 87.75%
- Distance Covered: 4534.852km
- Laps Raced in the Top 10: 139
- Laps Raced in the Top 5: 78
- Laps Raced in the Top 3: 70
- Races gained positions in: 7
- Races lost positions in: 5
- Finished where started: 1
- Q3 Appearances: 1
- Q2 Exits: 9
- Q1 Exits: 7
- Best Qualifying Position: 2nd (Sakhir)
- Worst Qualifying Position: 19th (Italy)
- Average Qualifying Position: 14.76
- Average Grid Position: 14.88
- Average Gap to own potential qualifying pace: +0.049s
- Achieved own ultimate pace: 5
- Beat team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 47
- Beaten by team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 4
- Average gap to team-mate per sector in qualifying: -0.311s
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: While Williams had both cars eliminated in Q1 for a 23rd consecutive race, George Russell was only 0.073 seconds away from reaching Q2. In the race, he recorded the third retirement of his Formula 1 career.
Styria: On his 23rd Grand Prix weekend, George Russell reached Q2 for the first time in his Formula 1 career at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix. Since the knockout qualifying system was introduced in 2006, only Adrian Sutil made more appearances before he first made it out of Q1. He first reached Q2 at the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix, his 40th appearance.
Hungary: George Russell qualified in twelfth place for the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, just as he did last weekend at the Styrian Grand Prix. It marked Williams’ best qualifying result at the Hungarian Grand Prix since Valtteri Bottas qualified tenth for the team in 2016.
Britain: George Russell progressed to Q2 and qualified in fifteenth place – though he would later be demoted five places on the grid, picking up a penalty for not respecting yellow flags. Moving from last on the grid to twelfth at the end of the race, Russell gained the most positions of any driver at the 2020 British Grand Prix and the most in his career so far. With twelfth place, the British driver equalled his second best ever result.
70th Anniversary: At the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, George Russell reached Q2 for a fourth consecutive race weekend. He became the first Williams driver to reach Q2 at four consecutive races since Felipe Massa at the end of the 2017 season.
Spain: George Russell finished seventeenth at the Spanish Grand Prix for a second consecutive season. Russell has now made 27 Formula 1 appearances without being out-qualified by his team-mate and without scoring a point. In F1 history, only six drivers have made more race starts before scoring their first point.
Belgium: George Russell recorded Williams’ first retirement at the Belgian Grand Prix since Pastor Maldonado failed to finish in 2012.
Italy: George Russell recorded his worst qualifying result of the season with nineteenth place at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. He finished the race in fourteenth – the first time he had finished fourteenth since last year’s Italian Grand Prix.
Tuscany: On his 30th Grand Prix appearance, George Russell came within three seconds of scoring the first points of his career. It wasn’t to be though, as Russell finished eleventh. Russell is only the eleventh driver to have made 30 race starts without scoring a point. He’s the first driver to reach 30 point-less appearances since Max Chilton did so at the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Russia: George Russell finished last of the cars still running at the end of the Russian Grand Prix. Nevertheless, his eighteenth place meant that he moves out of the group of drivers who failed to finish on every appearance at Sochi Autodrom. The five drivers who remain in the group are Brendon Hartley, Kamui Kobayashi, Max Chilton, Rio Haryanto and Robert Kubica.
Eifel: George Russell out-qualified his team-mate for a 32nd race in a row at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. On Sunday, he became the first retirement of the race.
Portugal: George Russell out-qualified his team-mate for a 33rd consecutive race at the Portuguese Grand Prix and reached Q2 for the seventh time in his career. He ran inside the top ten for a number of laps during the race, but failed to score. He finished fourteenth, equalling his third-best result of the year.
Emilia Romagna: Crashing out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix behind the Safety Car, George Russell recorded Williams’ first retirement at Imola since the 2001 San Marino Grand Prix. It was Russell’s fourth retirement of the year; double the number of non-finishes he had in 2019.
Turkey: George Russell finished sixteenth in the Turkish Grand Prix, which meant he equalled Max Chilton for third in the list of most Grand Prix starts without a point. This weekend marked Russell’s 35th race start. Only Luca Badoer and Charles Pic entered more races without ever scoring a point. Meanwhile, Nicola Larini and Jonathan Palmer scored points on their 44th and 42nd starts respectively.
Bahrain: George Russell reached Q2 for the ninth time in his career. His fourteenth place in qualifying marked Williams’ 190th Q2 elimination since the system was introduced in 2006. In the race, Russell finished twelfth, which was Williams’ best result at the Bahrain Grand Prix since Felipe Massa finished sixth in 2017.
Sakhir: George Russell took Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes seat for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. He became the twelfth driver to have raced for Mercedes in Formula 1. Reaching Q3 for the first time in his career, Russell missed out on pole by only 0.026 seconds and was out-qualified by a team-mate for the first time in 37 entries. Russell became the 25th British driver to have started on the front row in F1. The 24th British driver to start on the front row was Hamilton, who did so for the first time at the Bahrain track in 2007. Russell led more laps than anyone else in the race, but the win was not to be. Russell came close to recording his maiden win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Nevertheless, He finished ninth and recorded the first points of his career. Only two drivers have taken longer to score their first points – Jonathan Palmer, on his 42nd appearance, and Nicola Larini, on his 44th appearance. Russell also set the Fastest Lap for the first time in his career. He became the 135th driver to set the Fastest Lap during a Formula 1 race, doing so with a 55.404 second lap. Russell set a new record with his fastest lap: it’s the shortest ever race lap in Formula 1 history. The previous record was a 1:00.00, set by Jody Scheckter at the 1974 French Grand Prix.
Abu Dhabi: George Russell returned to Williams for the Abu Dhabi grand Prix. With him qualifying in eighteenth place, ahead of Haas’ Fittipaldi, this was the first time since 2017 that Williams have not set the slowest two times in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.