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George Russell

Russell issues Mercedes warning after China reality check

It was another challenging weekend for Mercedes in China, with George Russell bagging a sixth-place result for the Brackley-based squad.

Russell China race
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has warned Mercedes it still has a long way to go in order to get in the mix with other front-running Formula 1 teams.

Mercedes' difficult 2024 campaign continued at the Chinese Grand Prix with Russell taking the chequered flag in sixth place, almost 40 seconds down on race-winner Max Verstappen.

Russell's team-mate Lewis Hamilton recovered to ninth place after lining up at the back of the field following a disastrous qualifying session.

Mercedes has struggled for form ever since the introduction of fresh technical regulations in 2022 - with Russell declaring there is still sizable work needed in order to close the gap.

“The fact is, Red Bull is still a long way ahead of everybody and I think it was probably only in the sprint race that we really saw their true potential [with] Verstappen pulling a second on everybody comfortably,” Russell told media including RacingNews365.

“We shouldn't kid ourselves. We’ve got a lot of work that we need to do to close that gap with them and get in the fight with Ferrari and Lando.”

Race highlight

Russell's grand prix got off to a strong start as he overtook the two Ferrari drivers as they squabbled through Turn 1 on the opening lap.

However, the Mercedes driver was unable to hold position to the end, conceding that the team must go back to the drawing board in a bid for improvements.

“Probably the highlight was the first lap and getting ahead of the Ferraris,” Russell reflected.

“But I think P6 is a fair result and a fair representation of where we are as a team right now.

“It’s been a good weekend having this [sprint] format, to be able to try different things between the two races.

“Both races, the performance was very similar. So we just need to go back to the factory, keep working on the basics, which is putting more downforce on the car.”

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix