George Russell declared himself “a little disappointed” to miss out on pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver will line up alongside Max Verstappen on the front row of the Albert Park grid after falling just 0.236secs shy of the Dutchman's one-minute 16.732s benchmark.
The result also kept up Russell's qualifying clean-sweep against team-mate Lewis Hamilton who will start from third.
“We weren’t expecting that, that’s for sure,” said Russell.
“[There is] a lot of hard work going on back in the factory [and] here in Melbourne and what a session [that was] for us.”
Mercedes is committed to bringing a significant upgrade to next month's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, with the team likely to reveal a new design philosophy that likely will resemble the dominant Red Bull.
But after disappointing showings across the opening two weekends, Russell added: “The car felt alive!
"It felt like the lap at the end was right on the limit and I’ve got to be honest, I was a little disappointed to not get pole position.
“It’s one of those things how your expectation changes as quickly in this sport.
“We probably would have been happy with top four or top five yesterday, but the car felt awesome and it goes to show that we’ve still got potential still to come.”
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