George Russell: Mercedes has fallen behind Ferrari and McLaren so far

george russell mercedes w13 1

At this early point of the pre-season, George Russell has confessed that Ferrari and McLaren may have an advantage over Mercedes.

george russell mercedes w13 1
george russell mercedes w13

Mercedes has begun pre-season testing significantly behind McLaren and Ferrari, according to George Russell.

F1’s most iconic teams have dominated the timesheets over the first two days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with 2021 championship rivals Red Bull and Mercedes yet to join the race at the top.

Russell thinks Ferrari and McLaren have adapted effectively to the new restrictions so far, calling them “on top of everything.”

“[We’re] certainly not ahead, I’m pretty sure of that,” Russell said after finishing fourth on Thursday’s timesheets, when asked where Mercedes are compared to Ferrari and McLaren.

“They seem to have things well under control and they’re on top of everything. They look very strong on low fuel, high fuel, and with the tyre management.

“Who knows? We all know that we’re on different programmes, but we definitely know from the average of all of the different runs we’re behind them at the moment.

“Let’s wait and see. The championship isn’t won in Barcelona winter testing, but it has certainly been an intriguing two days. “

Russell: Ferrari and McLaren look “very, very competitive”

As F1 builds a new pecking order under the innovative new rules, the first two days of testing have resulted in some “intriguing” challenges, according to Russell.

The conversion to a ground effect aerodynamic philosophy has resulted in a severe issue known as “porpoising,” in which automobiles can be observed bouncing around the road at high speeds.

“I think you could see quite some substantial issues with some of the cars in the straights and the bottoming [out],” Russell said.

“So this is a compromise we need to find to go quickly around the lap and it’s something I don’t think any team have experienced before.

“It’s really intriguing, this test. Obviously, [it’s a] new car, new tyres, a different dynamic out there. But we’re seeing some interesting things. That’s what testing is for.

“Some teams are looking pretty fast – a red team and an orange team, in particular, look very, very competitive. So let’s see what tomorrow brings and what we can do between this test and [the second test in] Bahrain.”

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