Russell Identifies Mercedes's 'Biggest Threats'

Friday, 08 March 2024 at 11:00
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George Russell identified Mercedes's "biggest threats" going into the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying and race.
Mercedes F1 driver George Russell scored a P3 during Qualifying in Bahrain. However, he fell two positions during the race because of problems with his overheating power unit, which cost him valuable performance.
Silver Arrows didn't meet fans' expectations during the first race of the season. The team principal, Toto Wolff, asserted that they haven't shown their full potential due to reliability issues.
Going into the second race of the season, it remains a question of how the German team will compare to their rivals. Russell told the media at Jeddah Corniche Circuit after the FP2:

"We've only been at one circuit, it's a new car, so we need to keep on learning. So as I said, let's see what we can do tonight. Everybody back at home will be working hard on the simulator and try and eke out a bit more performance."

Red Bulls dominated the first race and came into the second race as favorites. Russell expects Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to have an edge over others.

"For sure Max [Verstappen] is the quickest, Checo [Sergio Perez] is not too far behind. But it's difficult to follow at the moment."

However, regarding the pecking order behind Red Bull, it's much harder to say which team will come out on top. Similar to Verstappen, Russell expects a tight qualifying session.

"The cars are becoming increasingly harder to follow as the years progress and I think it will be tight, as we saw in Bahrain."

Fernando Alonso scored P2 in FP1 and P1 in FP2. While Aston Martin lacked too much pace in Bahrain, according to Russell, he and Ferrari might be Mercedes's biggest threats.

"Ferrari and Aston probably look like our biggest threats and rivals at the moment, but it looks like it's going to go down to qualifying again."