George Russell says Mercedes has “more performance in the locker”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell says Mercedes wants “to be winning races this year”, and expects a performance boost to come at “Imola time”, or maybe “a bit earlier”.

Mercedes did not start its 2023 season the way they wanted, but at the second race in Saudi Arabia there were some improvements.

George Russell finished the race in P4, and he says there’s more to come in the future.

“We definitely made a step in the right direction,” the Briton said.

“I think, above all, we just truly maximised the potential of the car. We had a really strong qualifying, which was really enjoyable.

“I was really pleased to come home in P4 on the road because I felt like that was the maximum that was possible. And I was having fun up there.

“The car was feeling good. And we know we’ve got some more performance in the locker in some races to come.”

Earlier in the weekend, George said he expects Mercedes to get a performance boost by the time Imola rolls around.

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“Maybe Imola time. Perhaps you can bring it a bit earlier, but I guess you’re always a bit wary to bring things to a street track.

“We just need to weigh up the options. With the mistakes we’ve made we’re not going to rush to bring things forward, unless we’re absolutely 120% sure it’s the right one.

“And obviously, the longer you wait, the bigger impact you can have because of the development slope, so we need to weigh up the pros and cons.

“We want to be winning races this year, that’s where we want to be. Of course, we’d love to be fighting for the championship, but Red Bull is just doing an excellent job.

“The gap they’ve got to the rest of the field is bigger than we’ve seen in F1 for six, seven or eight years, so it’s pretty impressive,” Russell concluded.

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