Russell: Fifth place realistic F1 Saudi Arabian GP target in "knife-edge" Mercedes

George Russell admits he can only target fifth place on merit in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a frustrating qualifying session for Mercedes on the Jeddah Formula 1 street track.

Russell: Fifth place realistic F1 Saudi Arabian GP target in "knife-edge" Mercedes

Russell and team-mate Lewis Hamilton took different set-up directions prior to qualifying, and it was clear that the former had the better option.

Hamilton struggled with the rear end of his car and was knocked out in Q1 in 16th place. Russell just made it through to Q3, and ultimately earned sixth on the grid.

As expected, he was beaten by the four cars of the Red Bull and Ferrari teams, but he was also outpaced by the Alpine of Esteban Ocon.

Asked by Autosport if he was relieved with the final position, especially given that he was only 10th in Q2, Russell made it clear that it was still far below where he and the team expect to be.

"No, not really, to be honest," he said. "We're not here to be battling for P5, P6. As a team, it was a very difficult day. The car is really on a knife-edge, and getting it in the right window is so difficult.

"Lewis and I went down different set-up routes. Clearly it didn't work out, and it's pretty clear in the data.

"So as a team, it's a bit of a shame. From my personal side, I think I would have definitely been pleased with P5, half a tenth away.

"It was possible, if I really put absolutely everything together. But that's just where we are at the moment.

George Russell, Mercedes

George Russell, Mercedes

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

"It's tricky, because we put in all of our effort into solving this porpoising issue. And it's not allowing us to focus on other things.

"As a driver, it's not allowing me to focus on the driving as much, the fine tuning of the balance, the set-up; we can't really do it, because all of our focus is on solving this issue. So we've got work to do."

Asked about the importance of getting to the flag on Sunday he said: "We need to just maximise the result. I think P5 will be our on merit result.

"We're so far away from the front rows, best case P5, worst case in that region. We've just got to make sure we're in it towards the end."

Read Also:

Russell stressed that raising the ride height to mitigate porpoising remains the main problem that the team is chasing.

"Exactly the same as we've seen since day one," he said. "We have the porpoising issue. The only way to run is to raise the car very high. And obviously with this ground effects car, we lose all of the downforce.

"We know that if we can get the car on the ground there's a huge chunk of lap time there. But we can't achieve that at the moment. So we need to have a rethink."

shares
comments

Related video

Schumacher would have been "ready" to start in Saudi F1 GP
Previous article

Schumacher would have been "ready" to start in Saudi F1 GP

Next article

Hulkenberg: Saudi Arabian GP will be hardest race of my F1 career

Hulkenberg: Saudi Arabian GP will be hardest race of my F1 career
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022