After a dismal qualifying session, Mercedes driver George Russell was downbeat about the team’s chances at the 2023 Azerbaijan GP.
Russell will start in 11th for Sunday’s Azerbaijan GP, with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in fifth, though the seven-time champion was only 0.004s ahead of Russell in Q2.
“We’re not fast enough this weekend, obviously,” Russell told the press after qualifying on Friday.
“I would have loved to be in Q3. But I was giving it everything. My last one may have just crept me in to Q3, but I don’t think would have been able to climb up much higher than P8.
“So yes, funny, funny sport. Going from qualifying on the front row last week to myself being out in Q2, and Lewis just getting in with P10.
“I wasn’t feeling great in practice, to be honest. I would have loved to have done a few more laps, we were sat the garage quite a long time doing a few bits and bobs, which, it’s so easy in hindsight to say could have, would have been a bit of learning for this sprint race.
“Last sprint race we hit the ground running and were flying every session. And this one it’s been the opposite. And I think that’s, that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
As has been the story of the season, Mercedes have had issues finding speed with their car and concept, and Russell is unsure as to where the Silver Arrows will be able to find more time from the W12.
“I think right now, we wouldn’t really know what to change to find the pace we need around this track,” Russell continued.
“It’s definitely a unique one and is definitely an outlier. Compared to the first three races we’ve been to. I see no reason why we can’t fight back on Sunday.”