FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the press conference following the FIA Formula 2 qualifying session in Silverstone. Joining me are: polesitter George Russell for ART Grand Prix, in second is Alexander Albon for DAMS and in third, Antonio Fuoco for Charouz Racing System. George, starting with you – your third pole position in a row in three weeks, how does that feel?

George Russell: It feels great! The car was a bit tricky at the start of this season in the qualifying sessions, we worked hard to understand our issues and made changes from Paul Ricard onwards – and it’s really paid dividends, we’re looking very strong at the moment. After practice I had huge confidence, we went out and were ahead of everyone by seven tenths, which is a huge margin. It was a tricky session, even though it may have looked easy - going from hard compound to the softs, it just has different characteristics, but nevertheless we came home with pole position.

FIA Formula 2: Starting from pole position tomorrow, alongside Alexander, what will be the trick to convert this pole from start to finish?

George: I think not getting carried away at the start of the race, because it’s certainly a long race, tyre degradation’s going to be high and we’ll see big drop-offs in the closing stages – so we’ve got to sit back, be patient and nurse them until the end.

FIA Formula 2: Is it a bit of an incentive to keep the fans in the grandstands with the football game going on?

George: Yes, definitely there’s a reason for them to stick around. Luckily for us the start of the race is at half time, I believe, so if the race is going well hopefully I’ll get some live updates! I don’t know if I’ll watch the first half – you’ve got to put your game face on and I’ve got a job to do; even though I want to watch and support England, I’m here to win the race.

FIA Formula 2: Coming to you, Alexander – this is your fifth front row start of the season. One of the differences this year is that they’ve recently resurfaced the track, how did you find the new surface?

Alexander Albon: It’s a bit difficult to say with the new car, to be honest, I think there’s not really not that much smoother, but coming from the old car it didn’t feel as smooth as I expected. I think the guys in F1 and in GP3 could probably confirm that. Yeah, all the marks and references from previous races stayed true – it wasn’t like Barcelona where it felt like a completely different track, I felt like I was still driving the same track as last year.

FIA Formula 2: It was a very tightly-packed session, why do you feel that was the case today?

Alexander Albon: I feel the track lends itself to that – even though it’s a big track, you’re at full throttle for a lot of the time. So really, you don’t really have that many corners to make a difference, it’s a little bit like the Red Bull Ring in that sense, but yeah, the times are close and it’s like Spa where your car will suit certain sectors better than others – it’s quite hard to be fastest in all three sectors.

FIA Formula 2: Coming to you Antonio, your season-best qualifying in third and you put together a provisional pole lap in the gap – what’s it like watching other people try to beat your time?

Antonio Fuoco: At the beginning of the session, we were quite unlucky with the red flag, because when it started I was on a lap which I had to abort and go into the pitlane. We went out again in the middle of the session and tried to put a lap together – I think it was quite a good lap for that moment but we knew on the second set that everyone could improve. So, I just tried to stay focus and put everything on the second set. It was quite a good lap, it was just unlucky with Markelov coming in front of me after he did a mistake, so I lost a little bit in sector one, and I think that could have cost pole position. But it’s always easy to say that after qualifying, so I think we’re happy with the position and we can fight from here.

FIA Formula 2: We used the same compounds here last year – do you think it was the right selection?

Antonio: I think it’s the right choice, and for sure tomorrow it’ll be much hotter than today, so we can have some thermal degradation. So we just need to wait and see how it goes, and I think it could be quite a funny race.

FIA Formula 2: Coming back to you George – you’ve said previously that not having a lot of time to practice makes things difficult, but if we’re having higher levels of deg tomorrow, what do you expect from the race?

George: I think it’s going to be tricky for the drivers to anticipate what will happen because in the past three years, we’ve seen a track temperature around the 20-30 degree mark. This year, it’s going to be anywhere between 45-50 degrees, and the new track surface is visibly blacker compared to previous years – so it keeps the heat more than it did last year. I think the deg was always bad, but it’s going to be extremely bad this year. I don’t know what to expect, hopefully not a funny race as Antonio said, but I think it will be!