George Russell confident Mercedes can beat Ferrari in Abu Dhabi

Mercedes go into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 19 points behind Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix provides Mercedes with a chance to issue Ferrari with the ultimate embarrassment, as the Silver Arrows have a chance to overtake the Scuderia in the constructors’ champions despite a below par season.

The team have struggled for the majority of the season, after porpoising issues in the early stages of the season saw them lose ground in the development race to Red Bull and Ferrari, who streaked away from the competition.

Mercedes have since enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence after bringing major upgrades to Austin last month, competing for the win in the USA and Mexico before picking up their first victory of the year in Brazil.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has explained that his team are fully focused on 2023, hence why Mercedes are currently performing better than them, but it would be the ultimate embarrassment should the Scuderia be caught by a team that has barely laid a glove on them all year.

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Both Mercedes were within the top four in all three practice sessions in Abu Dhabi, with Lewis Hamilton claiming that the car is performing better than expected ahead of their showdown with Ferrari.

“The Red Bulls look a bit quicker here, which was expected,” said the 37-year-old.

“We didn’t expect this to be our strongest race. But we’ll work hard overnight.

“We’re generally right there, so hopefully we can put up a good fight.”

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With only 19 points between the two teams, another one-two by Mercedes would put Ferrari in real trouble, having to secure third and fourth to hold on to second place.

George Russell has suggested that the W13 has been quick around the Yas Marina circuit, and that compared to the Ferrari’s of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc they look competitive.

“It felt fast out there,” he said after free practice.

“Single lap, probably two tenths ahead, long run maybe even further.

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“We’ve got a little bit of work to do overnight, but compared to Ferrari, [we] looked reasonable.”

Russell picked up the first win of his career last time out in Sao Paulo, and his teammate will be eager to pick him his first victory of 2022 in Abu Dhabi as Hamilton is currently on the verge of his first ever winless season.

Mattia Binotto is currently under pressure from fans to keep his job as team principal, and fending off Mercedes in the championship will do his reputation amongst the fans a world of good.