George Russell has apologised to his Williams F1’s for the early off that undid all of the hard work of the team’s best qualifying performance since 2018 in the Styrian Grand Prix.

Having shown a sizeable step forward in performance at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, Russell continued to show the progress that has been made over the winter by taking the team comfortably into Q2 for the first time in well over a year.

Going on to qualify 12th - which became 11th after Charles Leclerc was penalised - Russell came into the race knocking on the door to a top ten finish and with it his first points in F1.

However, his hopes were dashed in the early laps when he ran out wide at Turn 6 and took to the gravel trap. With no safety car to bunch the pack up again and a much lower attrition rate, Russell would have to contend with 16th at the flag.

“Apologies to the team, I completely messed that up at the start. I made a good start, maintained position and as trying to hold my position around the outside of Turn 6 and I just completely lost it, there was no grip up there. Needless to say, apologies to the team and I will bounce back next week.”

Even so, Russell fears he would have gone backwards in the race anyway even without the error, saying the Williams lacks race day pace relative to its single lap form.

“Our pace was particularly slow today, has been now for two weeks in a row. We come into the race thinking our race pace is as strong as our qualifying pace, but it turned out to be the opposite way. We need to understand that and improve”