Williams: Pre-race scare due to Russell being ‘over-sensitive’

Williams boss Jost Capito said that George Russell’s claim of feeling an anomaly at the rear of his car while on his way to the Austrian Grand Prix grid was unwarranted and due to the Briton being “over-sensitive”.

Russell put his team on red alert just minutes before the start of last Sunday’s race when he radioed in to report an issue on his car.

The Briton was told to proceed and take his place on the grid as all appeared normal on the data readouts in the team’s garage. Williams’ crews nevertheless poured over the rear of the FW43B but found nothing out of the normal.

“I think he was a bit over-sensitive and a bit nervous,” said Capito. “Nothing was shown to us on the data and nothing to be seen when we looked at the car.

“He also didn’t report anything during the race. There was nothing there.”

Russell did not encounter any trouble in a race he would have finished among the top ten had it not been for a late charge by Alpine’s Fernando Alonso who snatched P10 from the Williams driver just four laps from the checkered flag

Team and driver were understandably disappointed about missing their first points together, but Capito viewed the outfit’s chagrin as a positive.

“I am very happy that everyone is disappointed because four weeks ago, everyone would have cheered for 11th place,” added Capito.

“Twelfth place in France was fantastic. To be disappointed with 11th place now shows the team’s fire and the enthusiasm the team has.

“If we had said before this triple-header what we would achieve there, everyone would have declared us crazy. Now we are even disappointed! I think that shows the way we are going as a team.”

    Read also: Russell not ‘disheartened’ by losing P10 to ‘flying’ Alonso

Williams heads to its home race at Silverstone next week, but Capito fears that the British track’s open plains could leave the team’s FB43B vulnerable once again to the winds.

“It will be very difficult to stay there [near the top ten],” said the German. “It will depend a lot on the weather conditions. Everyone knows the wind at Silverstone can be very tricky.

“If it’s very windy, we get into trouble. If it’s not too windy, we might have a chance to be somewhere close to where we were.”

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