|George Russell is proud to beat a 1-armed driver. His teammate Robert Kubica's right arm was mangled in a rally car accident and reconstructive surgery has left it largely useless|
(GMM) George Russell says he is "proud" to have beaten Robert Kubica in qualifying at every single grand prix in 2019.
Abu Dhabi made it a 21-0 clean sweep of Saturday afternoon triumphs for rookie Russell, who almost had to sit out the weekend for Williams with a mysterious personal issue.
"It was never my goal," rookie Russell is quoted by Poland's Przeglad Sportowy when asked about the qualifying whitewash.
"We both realized quite early that we are only fighting each other, so I do have some satisfaction with this statistic. I'm proud of it," he added.
"It isn't as easy as some people think. Often in Q1 you get one lap at the end of the session, and one mistake can change everything."
Kubica, who returned to Formula 1 with a permanent arm injury this year, said of the 21-0 defeat to Russell: "There isn't much to say.
"It's hard to call it a fight when it is for last place, but if you want to call it a fight, I lost it. But if you look at the championship, I won it."
The Pole clarified that he wasn't being serious about saying he beat Russell for the world championship.
"It's a joke. Sarcastic answer," said Kubica. "What I'm saying is you can take from it what you want.
"I think it wasn't easy for either of us. George did a great job and I often had big problems – here was the only practice session in which I felt comfortable in one respect.
"In the end it doesn't really matter," he added. "When you have such a difficult year, it doesn't change much if you're 18th or 20th.
"What counts is your feeling and personal evaluation of what you did and what you could have done better, which is difficult to do now because overall the season was quite negative."