George Russell claims Mercedes are holding back some performance

George Russell had a decent race in Saudi Arabia, but Mercedes still appear a long way off challenging for victories.

Mercedes’ George Russell was incredibly optimistic after Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the British driver having revealed afterwards that the W14 “was feeling good”, something neither Russell or Lewis Hamilton said at the season-opener in Bahrain.

The Bahrain Grand Prix was a disaster for Mercedes, with the Brackley-based team having struggled for pace both during qualifying and the race.

Many expected them to perform at a similarly low standard at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit; however, Russell remarkably put his car third on the grid for the second race of the season.

Russell looked strong throughout the weekend in Jeddah, with the former Williams driver having been capable of going a few tenths faster than Hamilton, as proven in qualifying.

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Hamilton qualified in seventh on Saturday and was almost four-tenths behind his team-mate, with the seven-time world champion having been unhappy all weekend.

Russell demonstrated solid pace once again during the race, where he kept his team-mate behind despite being on a harder compound than the 38-year-old.

Mercedes remarkably had a car that was capable of challenging Aston Martin, with the duo having easily been the second and third fastest team in Saudi Arabia.

The Germans were comfortably ahead of Ferrari on race pace and actually looked very consistent, something which left Russell satisfied after maximising “the potential of the car”.

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Finishing fourth in Jeddah has left the 25-year-old feeling optimistic going into the rest of the season, with the Briton having revealed that Mercedes have “more performance in the locker”.

“Above all we just truly maximised the potential of the car,” Russell explained after the race.

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“We had a really strong qualifying which was really enjoyable. I’d really pleased to come home in P4 on the road because I felt like that was the maximum that was possible.

“I was having fun up there, the car was feeling good. We know we’ve got some more performance in the locker, in some races to come.”

Mercedes reportedly have several large upgrades to come in the next few races, with many being under the impression that the side’s ‘zero-sidepod’ concept is going to be scrapped.