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Russell makes bold statement about Mercedes going forward

The British driver secured a podium finish last time out in Canada after having started on pole

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George Russell has admitted that Mercedes have made some “real” gains on McLaren and Ferrari, as he believes that the Silver Arrows will be back in the fight with their rivals on a more regular basis now. 

George Russell, Mercedes
Russell celebrating his first podium in 2024 at the Canadian Grand Prix. Credit: Jayce Illman via Getty Images

Throughout the early stages of the 2024 campaign, the Brackley based team have struggled to compete with the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren out on track.

However, after making some recent upgrades to the W15, including a new front wing, Mercedes fortunes look like they have turned around after having a much-improved performance last weekend in Montreal.

Russell secured pole position in Canada having set the exact same time as the current world champion Max Verstappen in Q3 of qualifying. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who had looked strong all weekend lined up on the grid in P7.

During the Canadian Grand Prix, Russell led in the opening stint of the race. However, a couple of driver errors saw him fall down the order to as low as fifth at one point, which he admitted may have cost him the chance of a race win.

Despite the mixed weather conditions over the 70 laps, Russell was able to come across the line in P3 and claim his first podium of the season after making an overtake on his team-mate late on in the race.

Hamilton would also pick up some valuable points for the team, as he finished in P4. After Mercedes picked up a total of 28 points in Canada, this result keeps them in fourth in the Constructors’ Standings.

Despite Mercedes still being 88 points behind McLaren and over 130 points behind Ferrari, Russell now believes that the Silver Arrows are back in the fight with their rivals.

Mercedes on the up

Speaking to the media, including racingnew365.com, Russell spoke about his battle with his team-mate late on in the Canadian Grand Prix and how their performance has improved over recent weeks.

“In the last three laps I focused so much on that podium because I felt I had let the team down with my mistakes,” revealed Russell.

“As always, fighting with Lewis is very hard but fair. You know when you fight with one of the best drivers ever, you can trust that person.”

“I think our step in terms of performance is real,” added Russell. “It allows us to fight more consistently with McLaren.

“Hopefully we can further fuel that fight with Max and Ferrari as well, although Ferrari didn’t have a good weekend right now.”

Red Bull still comfortably ahead

However, Russell did reveal that despite the team’s improvement, that they are still quite a way off the pace of the current championship leaders in Red Bull.

“Red Bull has had a very tough time during the last races, but still they won two of the last three,” Russell told the media.

“So I expect them to make a move soon when we go back to Europe and the traditional circuits.”

Feature Image Credit: (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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