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Mercedes air pre-season pace worry

Mercedes air pre-season pace worry

F1 News

Mercedes air pre-season pace worry

Mercedes air pre-season pace worry

George Russell believes Mercedes is legitimately behind McLaren and Ferrari on pace after two days of pre-season testing in Spain.

McLaren and Ferrari have dominated the performance aspect of the Barcelona test so far, topping all four sessions between them to provide optimism ahead of the new campaign despite the relative unrepresentative nature of initial running.

Mercedes has quietly completed its work without setting the timesheet alive, instead racking up the miles on its own testing programme.

Asked where the Silver Arrows fit into the mix so far, Russell conceded: "Certainly not ahead, pretty sure of that.

"They [McLaren and Ferrari] seem to have things well under control and they are on top of everything and look very strong on low fuel, high fuel and on tyre management. Who knows.

"We all know we are on different programmes but we definitely know from the average of all of the different runs we are behind them at the moment so let's wait and see.

"The championship is not won in Barcelona winter testing, but it has certainly been an intriguing two days."

F1 is attempting to increase overtaking opportunities and ramp up the racing action with the new set of regulations this year by allowing cars to follow more closely.

Questioned on whether he had been able to test the theory during his running and if the changes had worked, Russell said: "I have. It is difficult to say for now.

"We are not in race mode so we are not going to go crazy when we are behind cars. I would say it is an improvement, but how substantial, we will have to wait and find out."

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