• Home
  • Motorsport
  • George Russell analyses pre season gains to Max Verstappen's F dominance

George Russell analyses pre-season gains to Max Verstappen's F1 dominance

During the opening practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix, George Russell of Mercedes expressed optimism about the team's improved performance but remained cautious.

Russell feels that Max Verstappen's lead in Formula 1 has diminished, yet not disappeared.

Mercedes, traditionally a strong contender, outpaced Red Bull in the initial sessions, with Lewis Hamilton topping the charts in FP2, a development that caught even the seasoned driver off guard given the team's recent struggles. Russell, while pleased with Mercedes' W15 performance, maintained that Verstappen remains the driver to watch.

"After testing, Max looked a long way out in front. Now that gap has reduced but he’s still out in front and he’s got a healthy margin compared to the others rather than a ridiculous margin compared to the others," explained Russell, indicating a more competitive landscape but acknowledging the Red Bull driver's continued advantage.

Russell's second-place finish behind Hamilton in FP2 fuelled hopes for a strong qualifying showing, but he tempered expectations, highlighting the need to decode the source of the sudden surge in pace. "The qualifying pace looked really strong, we still need to try and understand why it was so good," Russell commented.

However, the British driver remains pragmatic about the upcoming race, acknowledging the fierce competition: "It was very close with Fernando, with Lando and the Ferraris. Lewis and I were very similar as well. So we’ve got a real fight on our hands in race pace."

As the teams prepare for the third practice session and qualifying on Friday, the narrative of Mercedes closing the gap to Red Bull sets the stage for a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix, which, notably, has been rescheduled a day earlier to accommodate the start of Ramadan in the host country. 

Bahrain, hosting the inaugural race of the 2024 F1 season, promises an exciting contest over 57 laps at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on March 2.

Read More: Toto Wolff acknowledges Red Bull's legacy amid calls for regulatory reform (planetsport.com)

More Articles