George Russell at the Dutch GP Thursday Press Conference

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

George Russell attended the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix Thursday Drivers’ Press Conference. Here is the full transcript!

Q: Well, George we’ll come to you now. Another really strong race by you at Spa last weekend, very well done. Why was the car so much more competitive on Sunday than it been on Saturday?

George RUSSELL: It’s definitely been a bit of a theme for us this season. We’re still yet to fully understand why we have such a big swing, to be honest. The swing is probably less compared to Red Bull but when you look at it, compared to the midfield, we’re often being outqualified by an Alpine or McLaren. I mean, even Alex was very close to outqualifying us last week but then in the race, we’ve showed some really strong pace. I was pretty disappointed not to be able to get third position as I thought had I done things slightly differently it would have been possible but we just need to overcome our single lap struggles.

Q: Well, come on George, hindsight is 2020. What could you have done differently to get that third place from Carlos Sainz?

GR: I think on my last stint, I went out pretty hard and probably didn’t have any juice left in the tank with the tyres when I caught up to Carlos so I think we had enough pace to maybe manage the tyres slightly more, maybe get to him a lap or two later but still have the tyres remaining to challenge for that podium. Yeah,  because we caught him when there were probably five laps to go and indsight is  an easy thing but I think we’ve still got to be relatively happy with how the Sunday panned out but we just need to understand what where all that performance went on Friday and Saturday.

Q: So what about this weekend? Is Zandvoort closer to the Hungaroring in terms of what you need from your car?

GR: Well it’s a shorter lap so I don’t think the gaps will be as big.  I’m sure Max and Red Bull are going to be in prime position and they’re going to be very competitive. We got reason to believe that it may be slightly better than Spa but I think Spa was also a circuit that brought out the worst in our car so to be honest, we’re always going in with an open mind now.

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Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS) Zandvoort is a difficult place for overtaking. Of course, we’ve got the new cars this year. Will it be better than last year do you think and will DRS help?

GR: Yeah, I think overtaking should be easy. And I think the extension of a DRS will be interesting. It felt quite straightforward in the simulator but that may be very different when you’ve got a full tank of fuel and old tyre, following another car. But yeah, it should definitely be easier this year.

Q: (Carlo Platella – Question for George, you said that the team has still to understand the reason of this big step of performance from Saturday to Sunday. From your perception. What are the main weaknesses of the car right now?

GR: I mean, global performance is one thing I think once we get to Sunday, and things are a bit more even, we see that we’re still… Spa was an extreme version, but we’re still, on average three or four tenths behind Red Bull, and we need to find some more global downforce and maybe make our car a bit more efficient. So, we’re not losing so much time on the straights. But as we said, we’re always on the back foot this season when we’re qualifying at the bottom half of Q3, or sometimes not even in Q3. It puts it in a very tricky position. So, tyres have been a sensitive point for many teams, for so long. We just need to find a way to get the most out of it on that single lap.


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