George Russell says he is expecting Sunday's Miami Grand Prix to be difficult for everyone, citing the lack of grip available offline at the Miami International Autodrome.
For 2023, race organisers opted to resurface the track in order to promote overtaking, but according to Russell, the resurfacing may have had the opposite effect, with Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg and Nyck de Vries all coming to grief against the barriers across Friday's two practice sessions.
"We'll go into Sunday a bit of an unknown," Russell said after FP2 on Friday.
"The track's been resurfaced. It's still not performing like any other circuit, so it's a true outlier here, which is cool in some regards.
"I think is going to be really difficult to race because you can't drive offline, and you've seen a few people, myself included, you put one wheel off and there's no grip whatsoever."
Russell himself had topped the timesheets in FP1, but ended FP2 only in 15th spot after struggling for outright pace on Soft tyres, and noted he had suffered a similar drop-off in performance over the Miami weekend last year.
"It was a similar thing last year. We were quickest on Friday, and then were knocked down in Q2 on Saturday," said Russell.
"The car just changed a little bit, even from the Medium run in FP2, I felt strong.
"I was on a lap that was a good couple of tenths up which would have put me inside the top four, and then put the Soft tyres on, and the car just wasn't working for me.
"I think we understand a little bit why that is, and fortunately, we've got the time to make improvements overnight."
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Russell added that Mercedes had a good chance of being the second-fastest team behind the dominant Red Bulls this weekend.
"If we get things right, there's no reason why we can't be ahead of Ferrari and Aston Martin, that's the aim," said Russell.
"We've seen in these first four races that it's really tight between those three teams. If only that was for the win and for pole position, it would be incredibly exciting!
"But it shows if we get things right, we can be rewarded and jump ahead of them, but we need to make some improvements overnight.
"We know we've got the potential because we saw it in FP1 and at the start of FP2. We just need to get things aligned."
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