Russell narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 by just 0.008s, qualifying 11th at the Red Bull Ring.

Due to Yuki Tsunoda’s three-place grid penalty, Russell will start inside the top ten for the first time in his Williams F1 career.

Williams hasn’t scored a point in F1 since the 2019 German Grand Prix, courtesy of Robert Kubica.

Russell scored points on his one outing for Mercedes in 2020 but has yet to get off the mark with Williams.

Reflecting on his impressive qualifying performance, he said: “Yes I mean so close yet so far. Obviously, the team did a really good job, the car’s feeling good. I think we’ve learned a lot about the car recently. We’ve been going in a slightly different direction, put in more emphasis for our Sunday.

“Let’s see how it pans out tomorrow. I mean it felt very good in the high fuel yesterday. I’m looking forward to get inside of that top 10; I’m not looking behind me in my mirrors. I just want to go forward now – let’s see if we can do that.”

Russell says Williams’ qualifying speed is giving the team extra confidence after beating Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel on merit.

“I think all of us were feeling confident, we can go out there and deliver the maximum which is so satisfying even though it’s only P11, knowing that we’ve done the best job possible and we’ve out-qualified McLarens, Ferraris, Aston Martins, you know, is massive – and Alpine as well,” Russell added. “It’s massive for us.

“So you know really pleased with how everything is going and it is satisfying when it’s like this.”