George Russell believes Williams should aim for a podium finish at Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix after qualifying a shock third on the grid.
Russell, who made it through to Q3 during qualifying, was an early convert to slick tyres as conditions improved at Sochi Autodrom.
Russell vaulted up the order to take third on the grid, behind only McLaren’s Lando Norris and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
The Briton has scored points on three occasions in the last four events, including second in Belgium, which came in the race infamously called after just a few laps due to relentless rain.
“P3 here is an incredible position to start, it’s a really long run to Turn 2, we’re quite slippery on the straights,” said Russell.
“Hopefully Lando will give me a slipstream into Turn 1. I’m definitely really happy, we’ve been scoring points now, three in the last four, no reason we can’t keep on going.
“We’ve got to be aiming for the podium, we’ve got nothing to lose and we’re just going to go for it.”
Russell said he and Williams swiftly realised early in Q3 that a switch to dry tyres represented an opportunity.
“I came on the radio to say to the guys ‘let’s get the slicks ready because it’s definitely going to go slicks’ and they said let’s box this lap so I thought they might have misunderstood what I meant,” he said.
“But I said we’ve got to go for it in these sessions. High risk, high reward. Especially in these conditions.”