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Russell warns Red Bull and Ferrari advantage to 'grow' in race trim

Russell warns Red Bull and Ferrari advantage to 'grow' in race trim

F1 News

Russell warns Red Bull and Ferrari advantage to 'grow' in race trim

Russell warns Red Bull and Ferrari advantage to 'grow' in race trim

George Russell has warned the delta to Red Bull and Ferrari could "diverge" further across Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Mercedes has so far endured a tough opening weekend of the F1 season, with Lewis Hamilton qualifying fifth and Russell ninth, with the team staring at a gap of seven-tenths of a second from the seven-time champion to polesitter Charles Leclerc.

With Silver Arrows suffering from porpoising more than the other front-runners, asked if this could result in increased tyre wear in the race, Russell said: "I don't think there's any direct correlation between porpoising and higher degradation.

"Naturally, the teams that are bouncing more cannot run the cars as close to the ground as they would like and they are missing out on performance so we don't expect to be able to close the gap on Sunday to our competitors.

"We would absolutely love to be able to but I think that just isn't really the case and, if anything, you might see the delta diverge.

"We're doing absolutely everything we can at the moment to solve these issues. We've made some progress but we are a long way from where we need to be and where we know the potential of this car is at."

Mercedes "not where we want to be"

Russell's best qualifying time saw him finish 1.658s off the pace after making an error on his final lap of the session, leaving him behind the likes of Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

"Obviously, P9 is much lower down than where the car is but we’re doing everything we can to try and get the car back to the front and fight the Ferraris and Red Bulls," added Russell.

"I feel like we’re going one step forward then two steps back. We feel like we’re making progress but then suddenly we’re back into the same issues that we faced.

"It’s difficult because we’re so focused on solving the overarching issue of the car, it’s difficult to nail down all the details and fine-tune the thing.

"This is what it’s about at the moment, we know we want to be fighting for victories and we need to try everything we can to get there."

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