Russell takes heart from reduced gap to the top 10 in Italy

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George Russell saw reason to be optimistic after claiming 14th for Williams at the Italian Grand Prix.

Expectations were low heading to Monza as the British team feared their issues with drag would slow them down around the 'Temple of Speed'.

Instead, the Briton briefly found himself battling with Sebastian Vettel and finished ahead of both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

“Yes definitely showed good pace, it’s just a bit of a shame at the start with our straight-line speed we just got murdered on the straight, but as soon as I was in clear air the pace was relatively really strong," the Briton reflected.

“We only finished about 35 seconds behind P10 which for ourselves at this stage is pretty decent going, especially with what happened at the start. Some positives to take away.”

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And with another fastest pit-stop award in their pockets too, operationally, Russell is pleased with his team.

“We were quite confident that this is one of the worst three circuits for us, so I think it showed we did a good job with everything under our control with the set-up, the tyres,” he explained.

“But it’s still not exactly where we want to be.”