George Russell says he will “just go for it” in Formula 1’s inaugural Sprint after thrilling Silverstone’s crowd with his qualifying performance on Friday.
Russell finished at the rear of the pack in FP1 as he struggled for pace but escaped Q1 and then went on to stun observers by finishing seventh in Q2.
Russell continued his strong form in Q3, placing eighth, with a time that left him within two-tenths of fourth-placed Charles Leclerc.
The Williams driver’s performance received a rapturous response from Silverstone’s crowd, with 86,000 in attendance on Friday evening.
“Incredible, incredible,” said Russell. “Damon Hill told me the crowd’s worth a second and I thought he was lying but maybe he’s right.
“Incredible support and an amazing feeling, second q3, and we’re on this roll at the moment. Being here, seeing everybody, everything together, it’s great.
“I had a bit of a rubbish FP1 so I knew I needed to step it up for quali and we did that.”
Russell conceded after FP1 that he and Williams were “a bit lost with the set-up” and concluded to go “back to basics and let the track come to us.”
Russell will consequently line up from eighth place for Saturday’s 17-lap Sprint that will determine the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.
He has vowed to push for the best possible starting position rather than try and preserve his current lofty placement.
“I think a lot of guys will try and play it a bit easy as they want a good starting position for Sunday,” he said.
“But we’re going for it, it’s another race for me, I want to move forward and fight with these guys around me, and have the best starting position possible for Sunday, so I’m treating it like any other Sunday – obviously Saturday this time – and just going for it.”