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George Russell

Russell reveals three-year high as Mercedes shake off false dawn claims

George Russell is confident he is in the fight for Spanish Grand Prix victory.

Russell Qualifying Spain
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To news overview © Mercedes

George Russell has revealed that Mercedes' confidence is at a three-year high, with its impressive Spanish Grand Prix qualifying performance proving the Silver Arrows are back.

With Mercedes having been extremely pleased ahead of the weekend following its Canadian Grand Prix performance, some claimed it was perhaps a false dawn.

However, Russell and Lewis Hamilton both qualified on the second row, although it did mark Russell's first time being out-qualified by Hamilton since the Miami Grand Prix.

Only two thousandths of a second split the duo, with Hamilton securing third and Russell fourth.

Both Silver Arrows drivers were three tenths slower than polesitter Lando Norris, although Russell is confident that the Brackley-based team are back in the fight. With that in mind, Russell is eyeing victory on Sunday.

"Taking the positives, as a team, we're in the mix," Russell told select media including RacingNews365

"I think Lando did a really great lap. I don't think Lewis and I kind of really put it together perfectly. 

"I felt like it was maybe two tenths on the table, not the gap that we saw to pole. But nevertheless, you know, we're P3 and P4, and in a great place to fight for a win tomorrow."

Mercedes back in the fight

In the past, overtaking has been incredibly difficult at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, although Russell does not expect this to be the case on Sunday. 

The British driver was asked by RacingNews365 if strategy will be key due to the historical challenges that overtaking presents, to which Russell explained how it is not an issue this year.

"I don't think it'll be that difficult to overtake because there is a lot of tyre degradation here," Russell explained. 

"So you've only got to offset yourself by two or three laps and suddenly just in the tyres you'll probably have for a four-tenth advantage on the driver you're battling. 

"We're obviously in a good position, P3 and P4 strategically to do something different. But ultimately, the quickest driver tomorrow will nine times out of 10 win the race."

After performing strongly in Montreal, a big question ahead of this weekend was if Mercedes' progress is genuine. 

Based on qualifying, it does appear the Silver Arrows are back, although even Russell conceded that Mercedes could not be certain ahead of this weekend.

"Yeah, you never know 100%," conceded Russell. "But this is for sure, the most confident we have been over the last three years of what we've brought to the car. 

"And I think this is natural as well, we're all gaining experience. We're all three years into these regs. I think we all know, what makes a good race car in this sort of era. 

"I think it's proven how tight it is out there with the top four teams at the moment. So it's going to be probably in the coming races, marginal differences will make a big difference in terms of your grid position."

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