George Russell dismisses ‘lack of effort’ accusation

George Russell currently trails Lewis Hamilton in the standings, largely thanks to his DNF at the 2023 Australian GP.

George Russell has been brutally honest about his ability to secure front row starts given the challenge Mercedes has had with addressing the W14’s performance problems. 

Russell made it through to Q3 on Saturday, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton was eliminated in Q3 after the duo raised concerns about the difficult of handling the W14 around the tight turns of the Miami circuit.

Hamilton lined up in P13 on the grid, while Russell started the race in P6, not the result Mercedes will have been hoping for.

Russell was potentially hampered by Charles Leclerc’s red flag crash which halted his final flying lap and cut short the session with just over 1 minute on the clock.

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While the Mercedes wouldn’t have made it to the front row even if Russell had completed his lap, it will have been frustrating for the Brit to have not had the chance to improve and challenge for a top five start.

“I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily say quite pleased,” Russell told Sky Sports F1 post-qualifying. 

“I’ll take the result, of course, it’s a very flattering result for the performance that we showed – a really decent lap in Q2 to just scrape through, just to get into Q3, and that’s not where we should be. 

“Everybody’s working so hard to bring more performance to the car. It’s definitely not for a lack of effort. It’s just not coming to us at the moment. 

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“So lots to think about, a few questions that need answering. But tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll see what we can do.”

Russell moved up to P4 in the race, while Hamilton did well to recover to finish sixth in Miami.

The younger driver is bidding to become the first teammate to outscore Hamilton in consecutive seasons, though he currently trails him in the standings.