Mercedes F1 haven’t had a flawless start to the season, unlike rivals Red Bull. The Brackley-based outfit, who are quite used to achieving perfection, struggled to make a good impression during the tests. There were problems concerning the gearbox of the car, and more importantly, in its handling. As such, with the wind factor expected to play a big role in the season opener, Mercedes’ academy driver George Russell believes that the Silver Arrows could struggle much like his current team, Williams.
Russell himself wasn’t very confident of having a good season with Williams. He believes it could be a tricky one since the car is extremely sensitive in the aerodynamic department. However, he revealed that this problem may not just be limited to his current team. He reckons his plausible future employers are plagued with the same issues as well.
He said (translated via Google)“Bahrain is going to be very difficult for us. It is going to be very windy on Saturday and Sunday this week which makes our car very difficult to drive.
“This is a very unique situation. (But) it’s not just us, as I said. I think Mercedes will struggle a little bit in Bahrain. But they’ll come back stronger race 2 onwards.”
Surely this bit of news may please Red Bull and its fans. The team will view Bahrain as the perfect opportunity to catch Mercedes cold and perhaps get a jump start on them. It’d certainly help their title ambitions.
Russell, meanwhile, will be waiting for a particular set of circuits to show his mettle.
With a car so sensitive to wind, Russell believes the best kind of circuits for them would be the ones that are not so open to the elements.
When asked what circuits would suit the car, he said, “I think a little bit more high speed circuits, or enclosed like Imola, Budapest. Even maybe some street circuits may be good for us. And also where things are calmer Spa.”
Russell will be itching to get a points finish wherever possible in order to solidify his claims for a Mercedes seat. Although he doesn’t expect a lot from Bahrain, he does have the talent to defy the odds. Would an unlikely top 10 finish be in sights this weekend? We shall soon see.