George Russell is looking forward to try out his upgraded Mercedes W14 around the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, and believes jumping Ferrari is a possibility.
Mercedes finally introduced their B-Spec W14 at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, and while George Russell and Lewis Hamilton scored points finishing fourth and fifth respectively, the real test for the revised Black Arrow would come this weekend in Barcelona.
Russell believes however, that while the W14 might still fall short in qualifying trim, it may well be able to surpass Ferrari when it comes to race pace.
“I think when you look on Saturday performance, we’re certainly behind Aston Martin, Ferrari, sometimes the Alpine as well,” Russell told the media in Spain.
“Looking at Sunday we’re a little bit closer to Aston Martin. It’ll be a good test this weekend. I think we can jump ahead of Ferrari, close that gap to Fernando [Alonso] as he is definitely very fast, close the gap to Red Bull and get P2 in the constructors,” he explained.
No nasty surprises from revised W14
The young Mercedes driver hailed the upgrade delivered by his team, which featured a full departure from the team’s previous slim sidepods concept and seemed to have a smooth inception so far.
The 25-year-old commented: “Firstly, no nasty surprises and considering how much we changed, that was a positive in itself. This will be the true test. We didn’t learn anything in Monaco so this will be where we take a new baseline and we’ll learn from there.
“We’ve made a lot of changes since the Bahrain test and we learned pretty quickly into the season that the car wasn’t where we wanted to be. This as I say should be the new baseline and we can perform from here,” Russell concluded.
Despite their woes, Mercedes are still in contention for second in the F1 Constructors’ Standings, are they currently third behind, just one point behind Aston Martin.
Both Hamilton and Russell are bringing in the points for Mercedes, while Fernando Alonso is carrying that burden alone at Aston Martin as Lance Stroll continues to struggle. This means Aston Martin will be under pressure to keep their runner-up position in the Constructors’ Championship.