Russell: "Very shocked" if Mercedes faster in race trim compared to pole lap

First-time Formula 1 polesitter George Russell will be “very shocked” if Mercedes turns up with a car that is faster in the Hungarian Grand Prix than it was for qualifying.

Russell: "Very shocked" if Mercedes faster in race trim compared to pole lap

Russell labelled Friday at the Hungaroring as a “disastrous day” when he came away from FP2 in only eighth and 0.9s off the pace, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton was down in 11th.

The race simulations on the medium tyre were similarly adrift, with Russell’s average lap time over a 10-lap stint some 1.2s slower than the performance shown by Max Verstappen on the same compound.

Russell reckoned: “Our high fuel pace was probably the worst it's ever been yesterday”.

That led the team to “turn the car upside down” and work until 11pm, with the Briton then landing a shock maiden pole by 0.044s over Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz - although a DRS issue restricted Hamilton to seventh.

But Russell does not expect the Mercedes W13 to show an advance on its one-lap pace on Sunday, despite its recent improvement in race trim over the last three races - culminating with Hamilton leading Russell for a 2-3 double podium last weekend at Paul Ricard.

Read Also:

The former Williams driver said: "You take each day at a time; you don't want to get carried away with yourself and you just focus step by step.

“Getting off the line, good start, good first stint - is it going to be a one-, two- or three-stop?

“We know we have, relatively speaking, a faster race car than we do qualifying car. If that's going to be the case again this weekend, I'll be very shocked.

“I think we just absolutely nailed today 100% and got every last millisecond out of it.”

George Russell, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

However, team boss Toto Wolff did reckon a win was achievable at the narrow track.

Russell remained coy when asked to elaborate on the overnight overhaul that had been given to the W13 but revealed: “[There were] chats of overall philosophy and if we're going in the right direction as a team. We've been closing the gap.

“But obviously yesterday was a disastrous day.

“We believe that there were many reasons as to why, and they all added up to make us well over a second off the pace. But that felt like we were being a bit generous.

“But then to have a day like today, maybe P1 on pure pace - obviously Max had a bit of an issue [power loss, 10th fastest]

“We definitely turned it around and we're probably back to where we kind of hope to be.”

Russell also added that it would be “meaningless” if he beats Hamilton to the honour of becoming the first driver to score a win for Mercedes in 2022.

shares
comments
Latifi explains "big mistake" behind "hero to zero" Hungary F1 qualifying
Previous article

Latifi explains "big mistake" behind "hero to zero" Hungary F1 qualifying

Next article

Sainz disappointed with Hungary Q3 lap that was "nothing special"

Sainz disappointed with Hungary Q3 lap that was "nothing special"
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

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?

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
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022