‘We’re bouncing around a lot’: Russell admits Mercedes are struggling

George Russell maintains that Mercedes are behind their main rivals ahead of the start of the season in Bahrain.

George Russell has reiterated that his Mercedes team do not have the performance they would like ahead of the new Formula 1 season, but will endeavour to extract everything he can from the car.

Mercedes set 777 laps over the six days of pre-season testing in Barcelona and Sakhir, with Sir Lewis Hamilton leading Russell in a Mercedes 1-2 in the third day in Spain.

However, they appeared to be a noteworthy victim of the “porpoising” issue encountered by many of the teams under the new technical regulations in which the downforce is generated by the floor, and these obstacles have led the Britons to suggest that Ferrari, Red Bull and even McLaren may have the edge.

Regardless of relative performance, the 24-year-old is out to do the best possible job with what he has in this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

“I think when you get to qualifying and you sit in the car – it doesn’t matter if you’re a silver car, a black car, a blue car – your objective as a driver is always the same and the external factors almost disappear so obviously it’s a privilege to be art of such an incredible team but we’re here to make the car go as fast as possible, and I’m trying to make myself go as fast as possible,” he said in Friday’s press conference.

“So I feel ready, I feel in a good spot, I’m feeling relaxed and I’m just looking forward to driving this afternoon.”

He again acknowledged that the eight-time constructors’ champions are behind where they would like to be, but hopes that they can find performance in the opening few rounds of the year.

“My goals are to try and make the car faster; I think we know we’re not quite where we want to be,” he said.

“It’s clearly visible when you see it on the television that we’re bouncing around a lot especially compared to some of our main rivals and that’s what we need to get on top of.

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“The team have been working day and night [since the] test to try and resolve some of it to give [us] more performance so I believe there is potential in our car somewhere.

“Whether we’re going to be able to something with that this weekend of whether it’s a few races down the line I’m not too sure but fortunately the races will come thick and fast at the start of the season.”

Whether Mercedes are truly in as precarious a spot as they claim to be, or whether they are playing their “typical” mind games as Carlos Sainz described them previously will be discovered in qualifying on Saturday as the highly anticipated 2022 season kicks off.