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Russell sets target after season-best qualifying

Russell sets target after season-best qualifying

Russell sets target after season-best qualifying

Russell sets target after season-best qualifying

George Russell believes Mercedes has a "real shot" at toppling Ferrari in Spain after qualifying a season-best fourth.

Mercedes has struggled for pace compared to Red Bull and Ferrari so far this season but Russell managed to push his way into the mix with the title contenders at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

Making the most of Mercedes' upgrades, Russell will start fourth behind Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc on pole and Carlos Sainz, with Red Bull's reigning champion Max Verstappen sandwiched in between.

With Sergio Perez in his Red Bull behind the Briton, along with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Russell said: “It’s going to be a chaotic race.

"There’s going to be a number of stops for everybody. I think Max looks much quicker than the rest but I think we’ve got a real shot against Ferrari.

“Unless they have found some gains overnight, I think we’ll be in the mix with them so we’ll be going for it and trying to fight for a podium.”

Mercedes burning its tyres

Throughout qualifying, Mercedes consistently enjoyed the strongest pace in sector one but come the end of the lap, the W13s of Russell and Hamilton had run out of rubber.

Asked if this was the best result of the season, Russell explained: “Obviously, it is all based on results and that is the best result we’ve had as a team all season.

"I think it offers optimism, to be honest, because I don’t think we had the tyres in the right window whatsoever.

“We were always quickest in sector one and always struggling in sector three and just couldn’t find that right balance.

“Ferrari look extremely fast this weekend but I think we’ve got a better race car than we do quali car."

Russell's closing remark was also shared by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

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