George Russell insists Williams still has hope for 2019 recovery

George Russell has insisted that Williams still holds hopes that it can recover from its lacklustre position in Formula 1 this season, in the wake of another back-of-the-pack display in Spain.

Williams has lagged substantially behind the midfield throughout the 2019 campaign amid struggles with its recalcitrant FW42.

Neither Russell nor team-mate Robert Kubica have come close to scoring points, with the duo the slowest qualifiers at each event.

Russell indicated after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that how it performed in Spain would determine whether the team had any hope for 2019.

When that assertion was put to him by Motorsport Week in Spain, and whether there is now any hope, Russell replied: “I think so yeah. The car is not where we want to be.

“But it’s not like we’re three seconds off the pace and the car feels great.

“The car doesn’t feel good, so there’s hope that if we improve that balance feeling, make it more driveable for myself and Robert then the performance should come.”

Russell qualified just over four-tenths down on nearest opponent Antonio Giovinazzi, the closest any Williams driver has got to a rival this year, but in the race the FW42s were marooned at the back.

Russell was a lapped 17th, with Kubica 18th.

“I think we probably got our hopes up a bit after qualifying,” said Russell.

“I think our realistic quali pace was probably not as close as it was.

“But nevertheless we had a very interesting weekend in the sense of what we learned with the test items we brought.”