George Russell: “I think we’ve got a real shot against Ferrari”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell says the fact that Mercedes didn’t have “an optimal day”, and yet still had the “best result as a team”, “offers optimism “.

After qualifying in P4 for the Spanish Grand Prix, George Russell gave his thoughts on what to expect in the race tomorrow.

“It’s going to be a chaotic race, going to be a number of stops I believe for everybody,” the Briton said.

“I think Max looks much quicker than the rest but I think we’ve got a real shot against Ferrari.

“Unless they’ve found some gains overnight I think we’ll be in the mix with them. We’ll be going for it and try and fight for the podium.”

Russell added that in quali Mercedes wasn’t able to optimise tyre usage, yet they still produced their best results this season.

“Obviously it’s all based on results and that was the best result we had as a team all season. I think it offers optimism as to be honest we didn’t have the tyres in the right window.

“We were always quickest in sector one and struggling in sector three, and we just couldn’t find that right balance.

“I’m really proud of the job everyone has done in the factory these last weeks and months because I think we’ve now got a package that can be our foundation for us to build upon.”

After Qualifying team boss Toto Wolff announced that Mercedes has managed to figure out what was causing the team’s porpoising issue and how to prevent it.

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However, George says the problem still remains in the corners.

“Through the corners itself it wasn’t fundamentally different, just we had more grip and we could get the car closer to the ground and we know that would come with solving the porpoising.

“But I think we lost a lot of overall downforce to be able to achieve that, and the car’s probably not quite as quick as we would like at the moment to be fighting with the guys at the front.

“Now we know this is our baseline, we can really build off that and find a lot more performance.”

Ultimately Russell says there’s more improvement to come.

“We’ve only got to look at today, it was not an optimal day and yet we still had our best result as a team. We were always there in the top three, top four generally all weekend.

“And it’s the first time all weekend we were at the top of the timesheet during a quali session. It’s been an easier weekend for us and we’re excited to see what the coming races bring.

“It’s still going to take a couple more races until we really find a lot more pace,” the Briton concluded.

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