George Russell says Mercedes can fight for P3 in France

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell said he believes him and Lewis Hamilton can battle Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, but not Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, at the French Grand Prix.

In French Grand Prix Qualifying Mercedes didn’t perform as well as expected, but they did manage to get a respectable P4 and P6.

George Russell expects to be able to fight for P3 in the race on Sunday.

“I think we’ve got the opportunity to fight with Checo [Perez], and even before Carlos [Sainz’s] grid penalty we thought our pace was very similar to Checo and Carlos,” the Briton said.

“But Max and Charles just seem a step ahead of those guys, so we probably won’t be in the mix with them.

“But Lewis and I will be setting our sights on P3.”

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George also added he expects Mercedes to again be faster in the race.

“We just need to understand why our race pace is stronger, relatively speaking, than our quali pace. We are the only team on the grid that close that gap on a Sunday compared to a Saturday.

“Definitely the right way round; I definitely prefer to have a faster race car than qualifying car. But ultimately, you need to have a strong qualifying to give you the opportunity to fight on a Sunday.

“For me I’ve got Lando just starting ahead – hopefully we don’t get held up too long,” Russell concluded.

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