George Russell believes it might get tougher for Mercedes at Suzuka despite topping the timesheets in Japanese Grand Prix FP2. While his best time was nearly a second quicker than Max Verstappen, the Mercedes driver is still bullish about their chances for the rest of the weekend as the weather looks to ease up. "It's probably not going to be that representative for this weekend, but definitely good learning. There's a chance on Sunday, it could be wet. But it looks pretty, pretty dry tomorrow," Russell told media. "But nevertheless, it's always nice to end the day topping the timesheets and definitely make some improvements from FP1 as we were at the bottom of the timesheet. On their chances in qualifying, Russell believes the team will be looking at their usual top six but hopes they can get somewhere better in the dryer conditions. "I think we'll be fighting from a top six position, I hope we can have a shot at something better. "But I truly don't know we'll have to wait until FP3, that'll be a crucial session for everybody."
Learning when Intermediate crossover happens "pays dividends," says Russell
During last weekends Singapore Grand Prix, Russell was one of the first drivers to switch from Intermediates to the dry tyres. While the gamble looked to be optimistic early on, the Mercedes driver says that running in conditions which require Intermediates more help the team understand when the 'crossover' point will be better. "I think you have to try and understand when when you have that crossover, and it does pay dividends, sometimes we've not capitalised yet this year," he explains. "But there will be a race [with crossover conditions] at some point, might not be this year, might not be next year, might not even be the year after! Who knows?"