George Russell: “The car is definitely reacting differently”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After the Spanish Grand Prix FP1&2, George Russell says there’s “no reason why we can’t be as far away from the front as we showed, if not a little bit closer”.

Mercedes’ upgrades seem to have improved their car’s pace, with George Russell managing to finish the Spanish Grand Prix FP2 in P2, while Lewis Hamilton was right behind him in P3.

After the session George was carefully optimistic.

“I see no reason why we can’t be as far away from the front as we showed, if not a little bit closer,” Russell said.

“But there’s differences with power modes and stuff — I think Ferrari and Red Bull were in their lowest power mode, so they’ve got a bit on us there. I don’t know, it’s tricky.

“Degradation was massive for everybody and that’s going to be what makes or breaks this race on Sunday, so that’s going to be what we focus on tonight.”

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Despite Mercedes’ obvious progress, the young Briton still expects Red Bull to have the edge on Saturday and Sunday.

“I don’t know, to be honest, because in Miami we were quickest on Friday and here we’re second. So let’s see. The car is definitely reacting differently — we’ve got different limitations this time.

“We definitely don’t have the porpoising on the straight, which is good, but we’re still experiencing a little bit here and there in the corners, which ultimately you need to dial out.

“I think Red Bull still look very, very strong — they look like the team to be reckoned with at the moment.

“We need to go through the data,” Russell concluded.

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