George Russell rated after beating Lewis Hamilton in Miami

George Russell's P4 at the Miami Grand Prix was his joint-best result of 2023 so far.

2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button was impressed by Mercedes’ performance on Sunday at the Miami Grand Prix, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton having demonstrated strong race pace.

Struggling in qualifying but coming alive in the race has been Mercedes’ story since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations, with the Germans rarely being capable of extracting maximum performance over a single lap.

This was on show again at the Miami International Autodrome, with Hamilton having been eliminated in Q2 for the first time on American soil.

Hamilton started 13th whilst Russell salvaged sixth, at least giving the 25-year-old a chance of a solid points finish.

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In the end, both drivers salvaged a top-six, with Russell having finished fourth with the seven-time World Champion in P6.

Button was actually left surprised by how strong Mercedes were during the race, whilst he labelled Russell’s performance in particular as “pretty impressive”.

“The two surprises were Mercedes’ pace – how well both of them did in the race – and how Ferrari were,” Button said on Sky Sports F1.

“George got everything out of that car. He finished P4, I think that’s pretty impressive.

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“He was quicker than the Ferraris.”

Former IndyCar star Danica Patrick went on to discuss how Hamilton must have been “pleased” to have finished as high as he did, given how woeful qualifying was.

The 38-year-old was visibly deflated after being eliminated in Q2, with his qualifying record on American soil having been so strong.

Finishing sixth will give Hamilton belief, though, that even stronger results are possible, with Patrick highlighting how much better things could be for Mercedes should they be able to unlock some performance over one lap.

“I imagine he’ll be pleased with that comeback,” Patrick said.

“He was in 13th for a while before he made progress. It’s frustrating going through the weekend when you’re struggling, struggling, struggling.

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“You almost forget about it when you have races like that. And they do tend to have good races. They are strong drivers, strong team, strong strategy, and the car seems to emerge – I don’t know if it gets stronger.

“Ferrari drops back and, as it’s a race between the next three team, you come out on top of a lot. You feel good, you go away then get dropped back in next weekend.

“They need to figure out how to get sheer speed out of it. If they get sheer speed, they can qualify better, look what would happen in the race after that. They would be able to move up further.”