George Russell has insisted there is "no reason" why Mercedes can't overturn its current deficit to championship protagonists Ferrari and Red Bull.
Mercedes has struggled to match its main rivals in the opening two rounds of the season, lucking into a podium for Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain before being brought back down to earth with the seven-time champion eliminated from Q1 in Saudi Arabia.
Russell himself has taken two point-scoring finishes from the first two races with a fourth and a fifth to his name but finds himself 23 points adrift of championship leader Charles Leclerc.
Assessing his beginning to the season, Russell warned: “It’s two races. We’re definitely not out of it but if we don’t manage to find some improvements there’s no way we’ll be in with a shot of fighting for this championship.
“We’re definitely not giving up, we have come away from the first two races as the third-best team.
“I don’t know what the championship looks like but even if we continue like this for the next five, six, seven or eight races we’re still going to be within touching distance.
“There’s no reason why we can’t overturn it so we need to see how things look by the time we get to halfway through the season and ultimately everything can change.”
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