Date published: September 11 2020

George Russell can’t wait for the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello since nobody knows how the race weekend will unfold.

This is of course the first race without the Williams family present after they ended their involvement with the team following the Italian Grand Prix, having operated Williams since 1977.

The outfit and the Williams name lives on though under the new ownership of Dorilton Capital, and both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi were able to leave the Haas’ at the bottom of the leaderboard in Friday practice, finishing P16 and P18 respectively in FP2.

And Russell is already enjoying driving at a “proper circuit” like Mugello.

“It’s always great to come to a proper circuit,” he told reporters.

“A lot of character, undulating, punishes you if you make a mistake and obviously the speeds are just mega high.

Asked how his FW43 was performing on the opening day, he said: “In FP1 it was good, it also felt good in FP2 but it wasn’t quite as strong as we were hoping.

“We’ve got a bit of work to do I think, the tyres are taking a pounding.

“It’s the same story always, tyres, tyres, tyres, unfortunately.”

Russell already his eyes on Sunday’s race though since nobody knows what will happen in Formula 1’s first visit to Mugello.

“The race is going to be very difficult. We should see some teams very quick, some teams struggling more, maybe trying a one-stop or two-stop,” he explained.

“It will be exciting because nobody knows how it’s really going to plan out.

“I’d like to hope we’re going to be alright, there’s only so much we can take away from today because the track is going to keep getting rubbered in.

“F2 and F3 are out there, then FP3 and qualifying tomorrow, it will be a different ball game again then on Sunday, but I’ve got a good idea where we need to get the car setup.”

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The high-speed flowing corners of Mugello could, in theory, make it difficult for drivers to pull off overtakes in the race.

But Russell’s team-mate Nicholas Latifi believes Formula 1 can still deliver an exciting race.

“I’m still anticipating one, I hope I’m not proven wrong on Sunday,” he said.

“I think the nature of the track makes it one that’s very difficult to follow for sure, but if the tyres are given a hard time and one driver starts to struggle massively or multiple drivers then I think the grip of the tyres is going to far outweigh the ability to not follow so much.

“Hopefully that’s the case and it makes for something exciting.”

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