George Russell upbeat with Mercedes progress in Australia

George Russell has expressed his optimism at Mercedes's steady progress during Friday's practice session for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix

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George Russell was upbeat about Mercedes‘ performance after Friday’s practice sessions for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.

With Friday’s running disrupted due to traffic and poor weather conditions, Russell and Mercedes tried to maximise everything from their package finishing the FP1 session ninth fastest and the afternoon’s FP2 session fourth.

“FP2 was a little bit frustrating with the weather coming,” Russell told the media. “But it was a reasonable session for us we’ve definitely made a step from FP1, which is a good thing. 

“Let’s see what tomorrow brings with the weather because there was a bit of rain in the area, but it came quite suddenly. I would be happy to see [rain it can really] spice things up.”

“We’ve just made a lot of setup changes over the break, so it’s quite satisfying from the driver’s seat knowing the car feels better, and as a team, we’ve contributed towards that.”

Third row likely for Mercedes

George Russell during 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix | Mercedes F1 Team

Mercedes progress

Despite continuing to show steady progress, Mercedes remain behind Red Bull and Aston Martin, indicating the third row of the grid may be as good as it gets for the eight-time constructors’ champions.

“If we really pull everything together, the third row is where we’re looking at the moment,” said Russell. “It’s not where we want to be at the moment [but there] is more to come.

“We just need to maximise our chances as we did in Jeddah, where we exceeded the potential of our car.”

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