Russell Weighs In on Mercedes Testing Struggles: “I’ve Asked Them How It’s Going”

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March 16, 2021 6:27 pm

Much has been made of Mercedes F1’s pre season misery. The Silver Arrows, who are so used to perfection, have achieved anything but that in Bahrain. From gearbox issues, to beached cars and handling problems, the Brackley-based outfit has seen the lot.

This unusual start for the German team has led many to question whether they’ll be able to defend their title this year. However, George Russell is adamant that Mercedes will be firing on all cylinders come the season opener.

The Williams driver who is also part of the Mercedes academy said, “I’ve not really looked at the guys at the top, but I’ve asked them how it’s going.

“They are Mercedes. They are going to be fine. I am pretty confident on that.”

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Just how ‘fine’ they’ll be will only be revealed come March 28th. But it certainly looks as though they might have a title challenge on their hands. Main rivals Red Bull had what one could consider a perfect three days of testing.

Their two drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, put in the highest number of laps for a single team. Moreover, unlike Mercedes, the Austrian team didn’t face any sort of obstacles either.

George Russell, meanwhile, had a fairly decent test himself. The Briton was given the chance to drive only as late as day 3. However, he responded by putting in the 6th quickest lap of the day. Apart from that, he didn’t face any issues. His start bodes well for a pivotal personal season ahead. Although he wasn’t too optimistic about his team’s prospects.

Can George Russell push his claims for a Mercedes seat in 2022

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021, Williams’ George Russell in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

It is no secret just how highly Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and indeed the whole world rates Russell. Having already shot himself into the spotlight with that incredible weekend in Bahrain, the Briton is certainly one of the leading contenders to get the drive at Silver Arrows next season.

But there are still a few things he can do to bolster those claims; chief among which would be a few points finishes. Russell was plagued by some rotten luck and an error on his part during the races last year. He has yet to open his account with the Grove-based team.

If he can replicate the kind of pace he showed in qualifying last year to the races, then he may well have set his name in stone atop the list of Mercedes hopefuls.

Also Read: “Just Be Patient” – George Russell Backs Alternative To F1 Sprint Races

Ronan Carvalho

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College. Being an experienced voice on the sport, he has nearly 1000 Formula 1 articles to his name. Having fallen in love with cars at a young age, he soon became an ardent lover of the F1 series and claims Kimi Raikkonen to be his favourite driver and Spa to be his favorite track, thanks in a large part to the thrill of watching cars go through Radillon (yes, not Eau Rouge). However, he doesn't let his biases get in the way of his writing, delivering objective and precise articles to fans of the sport both new and old.

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