Mercedes driver George Russell has maintained that there is work still to do for Mercedes after their impressive showing at the British Grand Prix last weekend.
Both Russell and team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton looked strong through practice and qualifying in Silverstone, but it was on the final run that the 24-year-old got slightly caught out, ending eighth with Hamilton up in fifth.
Unfortunately for Russell, he ended up in a race-ending collision on the first lap as Zhou Guanyu was sent flipping over a barrier and into a fence, with the Safety Car being deployed.
When the race was restarted, Hamilton looked as though he was able to challenge the Ferraris for victory after catching up to Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, and he finished third behind Sainz and Sergio Perez after Leclerc was left out by his team on old tyres after a late Safety Car.
The seven-time champion looked to have legitimate podium pace – perhaps even race-winning pace – last weekend, but Russell warns against complacency.
“I don’t think we want to get too carried away, because I think Silverstone is a very unique circuit in the sense of the speeds you’re going through all of those corners,” he said ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
“We clearly have a lot of downforce and good potential at a circuit like Silverstone.
“We’re going to another circuit here that’s, I’d say, more medium-speed as opposed to high-speed. We need to keep on evaluating.
“I think Silverstone was a really good step in the right direction and we’ve taken some really good understanding from there. But we’re sort of going to go again this weekend and see how we get on.”
Russell jumped out of his car after his crash to check on Zhou, who was thankfully okay, but the Briton’s excellent show of sportsmanship sadly meant that he could not get his car restarted to get back into the race.
“The race was red-flagged and seeing such a horrific incident… I thought at the time as well my car was probably game over,” explained Russell.
“And as it turned out, it wasn’t so I think that just added to the emotions, the frustrations, because we definitely could have got going again and probably could have scored a strong result.”
Russell was asking FIA officials to allow him back into the event while the cars were in the pit lane, but it was to no avail as he suffered his and Mercedes’ first non-finish of the season.