George Russell has expressed concern over Williams' loss of pace as the 2021 season draws to a close, explaining that "everybody is frustrated" by the situation.
Russell and Williams enjoyed a purple patch midway through the campaign as they scored points in four out of five races from Hungary to Russia, including a second-place finish in the rain-shortened Belgian Grand Prix.
However, he has an average finishing position of just 15th over the last five races, with his qualifying form also suffering - having failed to make it out of Q1 in Brazil and been the slowest Q2 runner in Qatar last time out.
"Everybody is frustrated"
Russell is determined to help Williams get on top of their issues and protect a 12-point advantage over Alfa Romeo in the battle for eighth in the standings, prior to leaving for Mercedes.
"I think everybody within the team is frustrated with the lack of performance at the moment," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We need to go away and understand what's changed. We've got a few indications.
"We've normally had difficult Sundays, but we had the great Saturdays to sort of compensate. It's easier to hang on to a position than to attack for a position, given our car pace.
"For whatever reason, the pace hasn't been there on a Saturday either.
"We need to make the most of it in these last two [races] and make sure we seal that P8, because that's the main thing for us at the moment."
Puncture adds insult to injury
Russell was one of four drivers to suffer a puncture in Qatar, along with teammate Nicholas Latifi, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and McLaren's Lando Norris, compounding an already difficult weekend.
He revealed that although there was "no warning" over the failure, the team suspected pre-race that issues might arise.
"To be honest, we actually anticipated that prior to the race," added Russell.
"It was just the outside shoulder [on] that front-left that was a limitation, and it would literally just go at some point if we kept pushing.
"The reason for it is because we didn't have enough pace.
"The high-speed corners are where you need to manage the corners leading onto the straights. The guys were already behind me in the high-speed corners, so if I'd managed any more, they would have overtaken me regardless.
"It's nothing to be disappointed about regarding the puncture. It was just a factor of not having enough speed around the rest of the lap."
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