George Russell says Mercedes has a good direction for the future course in F1 2022 after Barcelona test as Lewis Hamilton adds on his side.
Having had his first go in the Mercedes F1 car as a full-time driver for the team at Barcelona, Russell feels pretty settled already with the team considering the time he has spent with them before his Williams stint.
“I am feeling really good to be honest,” said Russell in the press conference. “It feels really natural because I have been part of this team for so long, sort of walking into the paddock and the engineers meeting room, it all feels like home so that has made things much easier working with all the guys with whom I already have a really good relationship so we are just straight to business.”
Russell had a busy three days as he completed 209 laps which put him third on the list on lap count. He clocked second fastest lap of the whole test too behind Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, but he’s not counting the chickens yet.
All he and Mercedes are taking from the test is the direction they need to go into. “We were just working on our own programme and to be honest it is absolutely unrepresentative, this test,” said Russell. “You know who is going to be in top half and who is going to be in the bottom half but when it comes to qualifying you have tenths of a second which is the equivalent of 5 kilos worth of fuel.
“Totally unrepresentative and things will look different with the development by the time we get to Bahrain. Overall, it has been incredibly intriguing for all of us. There has been a lot of unexpected issues which have been quite visible, some teams have got it well under control and some do not. Lap time wise is not representative at all, obviously on the softest compound of tyres.
“The C5 is a very strong tyre around this track so even though it is on top of the timesheets I would not read too much into it. I think as I said before, Ferrari and McLaren are looking incredibly strong. I think we got some improvements to be made as we are not fully happy with balance of the car and the limitations we have currently.
“But it is only testing so we are here to learn and we have made some good experiments this weekend and got some good direction of the indication we need to go in,” summed up Russell. His teammate was equally balanced like him, giving away nothing and underplaying the pace of the car.
“It’s been an interesting few days,” said Hamilton. “It’s not been the easiest or the most smooth running. We’ve definitely had some obstacles to overcome but we’ve got through as much as we’d like. Of course, we’d always want more laps but I think I almost got 100 laps on Day 3 for half a day running, that’s not too bad.
“A little bit behind on the last two days. The car is a lot different to previous years to drive, as are the tyres but we’re working our way through it. The whole team have done an amazing job this week. The men and women back at the factory have done an awesome job. We just need to download all of this data and get through as much as we can next week, and just try to put one foot in front of the other,” summed up Hamilton.
Here’s the F1 Barcelona Test stats
Here’s George Russell on porpoising