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Russell 'optimistic' about Mercedes chances at Singapore

After teammate Lewis Hamilton managed to top the timesheets for the first time in FP1, George Russell thinks Mercedes could be in the pole fight.

George Russell is "optimistic" about Mercedes' chances of getting pole at Singapore following both Friday practice sessions. Teammate Lewis Hamilton went fastest in a session for the first time in 2022 at the end of FP1, leading both Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. While both Mercedes drivers struggled to go quicker than Ferrari in FP2, Russell said he believes they can find a "huge" amount of lap time in qualifying. "There's definitely a lot of work to do. [It's] very, very bumpy out there and I think everybody's struggling to a degree," Russell told media. "We've always known that's been a bit of a weak point with our car. "Tyres are [also] quite sensitive. I think it's gonna be one of those [where] if we can actually nail it, there'll be a huge amount of lap time we can find in qualifying."

Russell 'impressed' with track resurface

The Marina Bay Street Circuit has been resurfaced between Turns 5 and 6, over the Andersen Bridge after Turns 12 and 13, and between Turns 14 and 20. Russell was impressed with the grip levels and believes track evolution will play a key role in determining who is on pole during qualifying. "I was pretty impressed with the grip levels," he added. "They've resurfaced the track in a number of areas and the new surface is really grippy. It's a shame that all of it wasn't done. "But for sure it's gonna continue to evolve and [in] qualifying I'm sure from Q1 to Q3 it'll be a big improvement."

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