Mercedes signed Russell for the 2022 season, and the 24-year-old would have been expecting to challenge for wins and maybe even the title with a team that has dominated Formula 1 for the last eight years.
However, the Mercedes W13 car has proven to be way off the pace of main rivals Ferrari and Red Bull, with Russell finishing on the podium just once in the opening four rounds, and currently 37 points behind championship leader Charles Leclerc.
Despite the machinery around him, Russell has still managed to put in impressive performances for the Silver Arrows.
He’s the only driver on the grid to have finished in the top five in every race so far this season, and is performing way better than teammate Hamilton, who is 21 points adrift of his fellow Brit.
Speaking to GPFans ahead of this weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix, Russell explained why he might be able to get more out of the Mercedes compared to the seven-time world champion.
‘Perhaps with my struggles at Williams driving very difficult cars, maybe that has helped in some small regard,’ Russell said.
‘Q1 and Q2 for us now is massively important whereas previously for Mercedes that was a breeze, it was almost a build-up session getting ready for Q3.’
Prior to this season, Russell drove for the struggling Williams team for three years, showing great ability in cars that were, more often than not, the slowest on the grid, with just four points finishes in 59 races for the British team.
While Mercedes’ lack of pace is not that bad, it is nevertheless frustrating for Russell and Hamilton, although the two have been able to benefit from some good fortune.
Red Bull’s reliability woes and crashes for the Ferrari drivers have helped the duo move up the grid a little, but Russell knows he cannot rely on other team’s failings to save his season.
‘I think in terms of results, we’re definitely getting the most out of it and things have definitely fallen our way in these first four races,’ he added.
‘It gives me and I’m sure it gives the team confidence that when the car improves, we will be there to get even more points on the board.
‘But as I said before the weekend, we can’t sustain this level of these results if we don’t improve the pace of the car.
‘Lewis is going to come back incredibly strong. I have no doubt, and he is definitely going to be pushing me all the way.’
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