Russell: “Our race pace was certainly closer to Ferrari and Red Bull”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After getting P4 at the Canadian Grand Prix, George Russell says Mercedes’ “race pace was certainly closer to Ferrari and Red Bull”, but “that performance just isn’t there yet”.

After qualifying in P8 for the Canadian Grand Prix, due to a gamble with slick tyres which didn’t pay off, George Russell managed to finish the race in P4.

Afterwards he said Mercedes’ pace was definitely an improvement.

“I think I had total confidence we’d have been able to carve our way past the Haas and the Alpines,” the Briton told Sky Sports.

“We were certainly concerned that [Charles] Leclerc and Checo [Perez] would be able to come through, and [we were] fortunate to keep them behind us.

“And, ultimately our race pace was certainly closer to Ferrari and Red Bull than we’ve seen all season but that performance just isn’t there yet.”

George then said his strategy could have probably been better.

“Everything’s easier in hindsight. Probably would have liked to have pitted under the first VSC but at the end of the day I don’t think it would have changed my finishing result.

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“The pace was really strong in the first stint, the second stint pretty strong, in the final stint after the restart, I don’t know why, I just couldn’t get the tyres working.

“So, that was a bit of a shame to drop back slightly and not be in the fight but nevertheless, P4, good points for the team, great to be back on the podium for Mercedes.”

The Briton also revealed Mercedes’ car was still suffering from bouncing.

“It was bumpy, it was definitely bumpy out there. We weren’t ‘porpoising,’ we’re just bouncing around a lot down the straight, just hitting the ground, so it’ll be a good sleep again tonight for sure.

“I think there’s so many different factors [that cause the bouncing]. The wind plays a big factor, the bumpiness of the circuit.

“The revisions the FIA brought this weekend with the extra floor stay did nothing hence why we didn’t race it.

“Just the angle of it didn’t allow the team to hold the floor up, but this global issue of these 2022 cars is far from over,” Russell concluded.

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