George Russell has been assessing Mercedes' chances of claiming a win during the final two races of the 2022 F1 season.
After struggling to match the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari throughout much of the year, the Silver Arrows looked to be at their most competitive yet over the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualified in P2 and P3 respectively, but neither was able to challenge Max Verstappen for the win, with Hamilton going on to take P2 in the race while Russell finished in P4.
Despite this, Russell is hopeful that the team can still enjoy a good level of performance at the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix.
Russell reflects on Mercedes' win chances
When asked whether Mercedes still have a chance to win during the last two Grands Prix of the campaign, Russell acknowledged that the squad's fortunes have varied from race to race.
"We've shown between these two race weekends [in the United States and Mexico], there was quite a fluctuation in performance," the Briton told Sky Sports F1.
"I feel like we probably had the fastest car this weekend [in Mexico] and, had we been on the same strategy as Red Bull, we probably could have fought with them.
"Probably Brazil will be halfway between the two [levels of performance]. Realistically, it's going to probably be quite difficult to finish ahead of Red Bull at any races this year.
"But Ferrari, I think we definitely can beat."
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Can Mercedes beat Ferrari to P2 in Constructors' Championship?
Mercedes' performance in Mexico – coupled with Ferrari's struggles at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – enabled the team to close the gap to the Scuderia in their Constructors' Championship battle for P2, with the deficit now at 40 points.
The Silver Arrows' team boss, Toto Wolff, is cautiously optimistic about their prospects in the final two races of 2022.
"Be careful [not] to jump to quick assumptions; they [Ferrari] clearly weren't fast this weekend, but it was also – on our simulations – our best weekend," Wolff explained.
"Let's see what happens in Brazil. Finishing second would be great for all our people, and a win would still be fantastic. Also [it] would demonstrate that the car is fast."
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