George Russell has offered a glimmer of hope for Mercedes' chances after a poor start to their 2023 campaign in Bahrain.
The team suffered badly with tyre degradation throughout the race, which left them open to the threat of Fernando Alonso and stopped them from challenging Ferrari.
But Russell believes with the Bahrain International Circuit being notoriously tough on tyres that it could be an "outlier" track, and expects it to ease throughout the year for the team.
"Bahrain for sure is an outlier circuit, but it's not going to swing more than three tenths plus or minus," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I'd like to think this would probably be one of our more difficult circuits. Even if you look at Mercedes in the past this has never really been one of their strongest circuits."
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Russell: We need to find some performance quick
Both Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished over 50 seconds behind Verstappen at the end of the race.
Russell continued to say Mercedes need to "find some performance quickly" as Aston Martin appear to be competing with them on raw pace for third best team.
He added: "Naturally, we know that the team is good at developing and finding performance.
"But we're we're a long way behind where we want to be and we need to find some performance quick."
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