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George Russell

Russell in Hamilton admission after snatching Canada pole

George Russell earned just a second Formula 1 pole position of his career at the Canadian Grand Prix - with Lewis Hamilton key to it.

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George Russell has revealed how Lewis Hamilton's data was key to him grabbing Canadian Grand Prix pole position.

Russell banked his second career pole in Montreal, nearly two years after his first at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, in a dead heat with Max Verstappen as both drivers set a 1:12.000 in Q3, with Russell earning P1 as he set the time before the Red Bull driver.

Throughout qualifying, Russell held about a two-tenth advantage over team-mate Hamilton, which was surprising given Hamilton had set a blistering pace in FP3 to head into qualifying as the favourite for pole. 

He could only manage seventh, 0.280s down on Russell, who explained that the seven-time champion's data was a useful tool he used heading into qualifying.

"To be honest, this weekend's been really challenging because of the conditions," Russell told media including RacingNews365. 

"You've had rain around all weekend and then [in Free Practice 3], Lewis was absolutely flying and he was well ahead of me and I had to look a lot into his data to try and understand what he was doing differently. 

"And to be honest, that helped me a huge amount.

"So ahead of this qualifying, I’m just so glad that we could pull it off, because I feel like we really deserve it for all of this hard work we've been putting in and the car has been feeling awesome this weekend.

"It is such a buzz. It's been a while since we've experienced this feeling."

Russell praises Mercedes turnaround

Mercedes has had its most competitive showing of the season thus far in Montreal with Ferrari off the boil and Red Bull having had a scrappy weekend. 

The team is using its brand-new front-wing on both cars for the first time, with progress being made on turning the W15 into a machine capable of fighting with the leading trio of teams. 

Russell believes that the long-talked about progress is finally being made with the car.

"It always feels better when your name's towards the top of the timesheets, to be honest. But [the car is] just turning really nicely through the corners," he said. 

"I think we struggled a lot with understeer before and last year, we had a lot of oversteer and we've sort of been just trying to find the halfway house between what we had last year and what we have this year.

"We're sort of dialling in that sweet spot right now, and it feels like something we've been saying for a long time, in all honesty. 

"But there is just really a sense of relief to see it translate into a pole position.

"[There is] so much hard work going on behind the scenes at Brackley, at Brixworth, it's been a little while to be able to sort of get back in the fight. 

"We've almost felt like all of that hard work hasn't been paying off, but I think these last two race weekends have really shown that it is."

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