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Mercedes undeserving of front-row luck - Russell
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Mercedes undeserving of front-row luck - Russell

Mercedes undeserving of front-row luck - Russell

Mercedes undeserving of front-row luck - Russell

Mercedes undeserving of front-row luck - Russell
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

George Russell has conceded Mercedes' qualifying performance means he is not deserving of the penalty luck that has promoted him to the front row of the grid for the Italian Grand Prix.

The British driver qualified only sixth fastest at Monza, almost 1.4secs adrift of pole-sitter Charles Leclerc.

A myriad of penalties have drastically altered the grid, however, with Russell jumping past Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and team-mate Lewis Hamilton to line up second for the race.

"We don't deserve to be lining up second after today's performance," insisted Russell.

"It was a frustrating session because we can't seem to consistently hit that sweet spot.

"FP1, the car felt great and FP2, FP3 substantially worse. Q1 great, a few tenths off Ferrari but Q2 was worse and Q3 was worse.

"Ultimately, that has been a theme of our season. Lining up P2 tomorrow, we will have a faster race car but probably not enough to battle with Max, for sure, potentially Charles."

Russell predicts easy Verstappen victory

Verstappen has been in imperious form as of late, with the Red Bull driver taking victory from pole in the Netherlands but from 14th and 10th in the races preceding in Belgium and France respectively.

"I think you would be pretty stupid to bet against him," said Russell.

"He just needs to keep his nose clean in the first two laps and then he will cruise to victory.

"We will be trying to finish ahead of Charles. That will be an exciting race but they qualified 1.4 seconds ahead."

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