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George Russell

Russell in the dark over Mercedes cooling problems

The Mercedes W15 was hit by issues during the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Russell Saudi
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George Russell has insisted he is "not at all" worried about a recurrence of Mercedes' cooling issues that derailed his podium battle in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, despite being in the dark about why there was such an impact.

The Briton had been running as high as second last weekend before falling back to fifth, behind both Red Bulls and Ferraris, as he was forced to manage rising temperatures in his W15.

Russell qualified only seventh on the grid for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, one spot ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, and asked whether he held concerns over the cooling issues, he told media including RacingNews365: "No not at all.

"We found the problem and it was a simple solution but we are still trying to find why the problem was so severe in Bahrain.

"We found the cause, we just don't know why it had the impact it did."

'Race pace looking strong'

Russell's lack of pace in qualifying was a marked step backwards from his effort for third at the Bahrain International Circuit, though he hinted that this was down to a focus on long-run performance.

Detailing the challenge ahead of him, Russell said: "Our race pace is looking strong.

"The only challenge here is it's not an easy track to overtake at even though you have got the three DRS zones, you can't overtake into turn 22 and now it is even harder to follow.

"With an easy one-stop race, you don't see much of a tyre delta between the drivers.

"Time will tell. I am confident we are quicker than McLaren and Aston Martin. We have good straight-line speed, which we haven't said for two years, but I don't think it will be straightforward."

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