The Mercedes F1 Team made yet another step in the right direction at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after George Russell claimed the team’s first pole position of the season.
It wasn’t just Mercedes’ first pole of the season; it was Russell’s first-ever P1 start in Formula 1.
Unfortunately, the Brit couldn’t convert his pole into a race victory, as he went on to finish in third at the Hungaroring.
It was nevertheless an excellent result for Russell, who sealed the German team’s second double podium finish in a row.
This was because Sir Lewis Hamilton finished P2 yet again, repeating his performance at the French Grand Prix.
Hamilton has now finished on the podium at five consecutive races, with only that illusive first victory of the season yet to be achieved.
The seven-time World Champion has won at least one race every year he has raced in Formula 1, a record that is at serious risk of ending this season.
The team are definitely going in the right direction, though, with Russell recognising that at the start of the season the team were nowhere to be seen.
“At the start of the season we were finishing races a minute behind first position,” said Russell.
“The last two races we’ve been within 10 seconds so I think it’s definitely going in the right direction.”
Some have questioned whether Mercedes need to make radical car changes to finally claim their first win of the season.
Russell doesn’t believe this is the correct option based on their recent progress.
“I don’t think changing car concept is going to make us go any faster, maybe the contrary to be honest,” he said.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to stick to the process and keep on pushing.
“That’s difficult to do when you’re off the pace and things don’t seem to be going your way. But personally, I believe in every single person within our team and I think we’re making huge progress for the time being.”
Elsewhere, the race nearly saw a collision between the Alpine F1 Team duo on a number of occasions, with Esteban Ocon’s ultra-aggressive defensive moves resulting in an angry Fernando Alonso to complain on the team radio.
However, after the race Alonso had a much more relaxed attitude towards Ocon’s defensive tactics, admitting that he “does the same”.
“Obviously I lifted off and nothing happened,” said Alonso after finishing P8.
“But it was probably an opportunity missed there.
“Sometimes I do the same, sometimes he does the same or at any other team, so it’s the way it is.”
The pair have battled hard on a number of occasions yet have remained friendly with each other.
Usually, when team-mates battle so hard against one another it results in tension between the pair; however, this doesn’t seem to be the case at all at Alpine.
“We try to race hard always but always giving that one percent margin to not have any incident. We never had any and we never will had.”