George Russell believes points are on the cards for Williams at the Portuguese Grand Prix following an “extraordinary” qualifying session.
The Briton is set to start Sunday’s race from 14th place after edging out Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in Q2.
Russell was also just one and a tenth away from 11th placed Esteban Ocon, leaving the 2018 Formula 2 Champion hailing Williams’ progress.
“A tenth and a half to P11 on the grid, which for us is extraordinary,” Russell said. “We’re all pushing as hard as we can to get everything out of this car.
“We’re making good progress with the engineers to do that. It’s just mega. On a track like this to do a lap like that, it’s just great.
“It’s been a lot of work over the last 18 months going into fine tuning things that really make the difference when you’ve got to deliver for that one lap.
“I think it’s paying dividends at the moment, we’re only getting stronger and stronger and I think we’re on a really strong path for the coming races and into next year.”
With Sunday marking Russell’s 33rd F1 race, he is still awaiting his first points, putting him fifth highest on the number of races without a point scored in a career.
When asked if he has a car underneath him to break that streak in Portimao, Russell said: “I think so.
“We’ve got a car that is probably more optimised for the race than it is for quali which is positive.
“We’ve been heading our bets more towards the race now and trying to leave us to do the business on the Sautrday let’s say, and trying to see what we can do on the Sunday.
“Nobody knows how the tyres are going to handle this new circuit, FP2 got cut short. So it’ll be exciting going into it.”