Russell in unfamiliar territory in Bahrain test day two
George Russell may not get many chances to sit at the top of any leaderboard across the 2019 season, so the Williams driver may have relished his outing in the Mercedes W10 on Wednesday during the Bahrain test, which saw him put in the fastest lap.
Mercedes junior driver Russell is in action for Williams in 2019, trying to make his way in F1 while the team struggle badly for performance and reliability.
Having driven the FW42 on Tuesday, we wonder how big a difference he felt when switching cars the following day – his lap time certainly suggests it was considerable.
In 24 hours, Russell improved his best lap time by more than four and a half seconds, ending a 101-lap outing with a best time of 1:29.029.
Russell's flyer came late in the day, unseating Sergio Perez from top spot, the Racing Point driver knocking seven tenths of a second off the Q2 lap he delivered in qualifying just five days prior in Bahrain.
Racing Point have targeted this test as a pivotal moment in their early-season development as they continue to upgrade a car that ran mostly with 2018 parts in pre-season testing.
Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Jack Aitken (Renault), Pietro Fittipaldi (Haas) were other junior drivers in action, alongside Mick Schumacher who returned to the track with Alfa Romeo, having driven the Ferrari SF90 the previous day.
Schumacher put in 70 laps, fewer than any other driver who was in action across the entire day, and was sixth-fastest on the timesheets, albeit just two hundredths of a second down on his best time from the previous day, where running was affected by a rain storm.
There was a familiar face in the McLaren as Fernando Alonso took part in Pirelli testing with his former team, getting through 69 laps on potential 2020 compounds.
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