George Russell: “We’re a long way off the pace of Red Bull, Ferrari”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After the Bahrain Grand Prix Free Practice 1 and 2, George Russell says Mercedes is trying to “unlock the potential” of the W13, “which we think is there”.

George Russell finished both of Friday’s free practice sessions in P4, which was much better than his team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s P7 and P9, however he admits “the pace is not there at all at the moment”.

“I think it’s clear from the lap time we’re certainly not where we want to be,” Russell said after FP2.

“I think we made a bit of progress solving some issues, but the pace is not there at all at the moment.

“We’re a long way off the pace of Red Bull, Ferrari. Even the likes of Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri seem on our pace or even quicker, so we’ve got a bit of work to do.

“I think the high fuel pace is a bit more representative and we were consistently over a second slower than where our rivals are.”

Despite this, George is not giving up as the Mercedes team prepares for a long evening of sorting through the car’s issues.

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“We still have race weekend on our hands, and we still need to make the best of this situation and maybe damage limitation, but we need to look into it.

“We are truly throwing everything at it at the moment to try and unlock the potential which we think is there, but we’re just really struggling to tap into at the moment.

“Everything we try is maybe one step forward, two steps back and there’s always a bit of a limitation so it’s going to take time.

“I think we all hope that we could have solved it for this weekend but how things stand at the moment we are in fight, and we’ve got some work to do.

“We need to really go over the data tonight to understand why we’re both struggling with the car,” George concluded.

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