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Russell concedes Mercedes only "fifth-fastest"

Russell concedes Mercedes only "fifth-fastest"

Russell concedes Mercedes only "fifth-fastest"

Russell concedes Mercedes only "fifth-fastest"

George Russell has claimed Mercedes is now just the fifth-fastest team in F1 despite standing on the podium in Australia.

Mercedes has been unable to match Ferrari or Red Bull for pace at the opening three races of the year but sits second in the constructors' standings by virtue of its strong reliability record.

Despite scoring the first podium since his winter switch from Williams to Mercedes, however, Russell fears the Silver Arrows have in fact dropped further down the order rather than climbing it.

"I mean, this weekend we were the fifth fastest team behind these two guys [Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez] and obviously McLaren and Alpine," explained Russell.

"And currently standing P3 on the podium and P2 in the championship is pretty crazy."

Russell hails Mercedes back at base team

Mercedes has matched the number of podium finishes achieved by Red Bull so far this year with each team registering in the top three twice.

Despite Red Bull's clear pace advantage, three retirements in the opening three races have dented the Milton Keynes-based team's points return.

Russell added: "I think it's credit to the team back at Brackley and Brixworth because obviously, we want more performance and we are a step behind Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of pace, but you've got to be there at the end if you want to pick up the points.

"That's what we've done on a number of occasions now."

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