George Russell: “So far the car is working well around Miami”

© Finn Pomeroy for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell says Mercedes “don’t really understand” why they “sort of hit the ground running” at the Miami Grand Prix Friday’s free practice.

At the Miami Grand Prix free practice sessions, Mercedes seemed to indicate that they’re closing in on the cars at the top of the field. In FP2 the team finally managed to top the session, courtesy of George Russell.

However, the young Briton says the team is not really sure why they’re suddenly performed so well.

“We don’t really understand why we sort of hit the ground running,” Russell said.

“We always knew ahead of this weekend that the conditions should suit us better because we have been struggling a lot with tire warm-up, even in Bahrain where the track was really rough, but this is the first real hot race of the season so that’s played a big factor.

“The car is working well, but it’s only Friday; not getting too carried away. What I’d say is practice means nothing and we go again tomorrow.”

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Ahead of the race weekend, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said Mercedes’ Miami updates were meant to provide the team with an indication if their development path was correct.

Russell said he wasn’t able to have any further discussions about this with the team.

“When I got out of FP1 I was straight into the stewards’ office because of the pit lane incident with Ocon and then straight into FP2.

“I was just working with my engineers to maximize the set-up and leaving it to the boffins to work out if this was the direction to go.

“It’s definitely been a really productive day for us and probably the most productive Friday we’ve had.”

Although he believes Mercedes’ progress could be track specific, George did say that the team seems to be able to run the car s little lower than before, without experiencing heavy porpoising.

“I think we know that it will always be there, but maybe it’s working at a lower range compared to where we were previously.

“But on that high-fuel run, I was feeling it and it didn’t seem to be any better. If we can manage to do that with the car lower to the ground then obviously we see the rewards.

“As I said, you generally have races that go in your favour, [and] some races that go against you. I think Imola obviously wasn’t a strong circuit for us.

“But so far, from what we see, the car is working well around Miami,” Russell concluded.

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