Mercedes “in trouble”? George Russell in F1 form ahead of Bahrain GP as Red Bull and Ferrari rise


“Red Bull looks incredibly strong, Ferrari looks really strong…and we have work to do”; George Russell’s verdict on Mercedes after tough test as David Croft says team ‘in trouble’; Watch this weekend’s Bahrain GP live on Sky Sports F1

Last update: 03/14/22 11:28

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Anthony Davidson says George Russell looks lacking in confidence as he battles porpoising on final day of testing in Bahrain

Anthony Davidson says George Russell looks lacking in confidence as he battles porpoising on final day of testing in Bahrain

Mercedes driver George Russell has echoed Lewis Hamilton’s comments by saying Formula 1 world champions are ‘one step back’ from Red Bull and Ferrari heading into the 2022 season with their ‘bouncy’ new car.

Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft has hinted the Silver Arrows are “struggling” ahead of the opening Bahrain GP this weekend.

Mercedes, on a record streak of eight consecutive constructors’ titles, so often leave their rivals behind at the start of seasons, but the huge 2022 rule and car changes appear to have thrown a spanner in the works.

While the Silver Arrows made eye-catching improvements at the Bahrain test and were reliable on the track, they finished a full second over Red Bull at the end of pre-season and also well behind Ferrari, leaving Hamilton to claim Mercedes cannot. will not. be competing for wins at the start of the campaign.

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari and Red Bull are favorites to win Bahrain Grand Prix next week as Max Verstappen sets fastest time on final day of testing

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Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari and Red Bull are favorites to win Bahrain Grand Prix next week as Max Verstappen sets fastest time on final day of testing

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari and Red Bull are favorites to win Bahrain Grand Prix next week as Max Verstappen sets fastest time on final day of testing

Mercedes also appear to be the hardest hit by the ‘porpoising’ that plagued testing – with Hamilton and Russell bouncing along the straight due to the new aerodynamics.

“It really bounces a lot – it’s not the most comfortable!” admitted Russell, who suggested that Mercedes was indeed third in the pecking order.

“I don’t really care about comfort if the performance is there but at the moment the performance is not there, we seem to be a step behind our rivals,” added the team’s new young British driver.

“We have a lot of work to do between now and next week to understand because in all conditions the Red Bull and the Ferrari seem to be ahead of us.

At the end of the final day in Bahrain, Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson discuss their verdict for the pecking order ahead of the first race of the season

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At the end of the final day in Bahrain, Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson discuss their verdict for the pecking order ahead of the first race of the season

At the end of the final day in Bahrain, Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson discuss their verdict for the pecking order ahead of the first race of the season

Red Bull brought plenty of speed on the final day of testing to suggest they are Bahrain’s favourites, while Ferrari were the most consistent team in pre-season and appear to have a solid car. But Russell believes Mercedes’ problems are the reason for the deficit rather than the good work of their rivals.

“I don’t think they’re exceptional, I think we’re probably not as competitive as we would like,” Russell said.

“I think the Ferrari and the Red Bull are in a natural position, their delta between midfield and back is probably okay, we’re just a bit further behind than we would like.

“As it is, Red Bull looks incredibly strong, Ferrari looks really solid…and we have work to do.”

Lewis Hamilton is still suffering from the porpoising of his Mercedes as we head into the final hour of the second day of testing from Bahrain

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Lewis Hamilton is still suffering from the porpoising of his Mercedes as we head into the final hour of the second day of testing from Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton is still suffering from the porpoising of his Mercedes as we head into the final hour of the second day of testing from Bahrain

Like Hamilton, Russell is also adamant that there is potential for victory in the new W13 car.

“I believe the guys are going to get to the bottom of it,” he said. “I think there’s potential there, we just have to figure out how to unlock his performance.

“It’s a long game, I think the performance is there somewhere…we just have to find it.”

“Mercedes are in trouble, but they will get there”

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz reflects on the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain

Speaking on Ted’s test book after the final day, Crofty had his say on Mercedes and thinks that while they shouldn’t be written off, they may have given Red Bull the lead and Ferrari at the start of the new era of F1.

“We don’t write them off but they have problems,” the Sky Sports F1 commentator said.

“It looks like a horrible car to drive, George and Lewis have said that and Lewis has hinted that they are not in a position to win races from the start of this season.

“But they are eight consecutive constructors’ champions and they are not without reason.

“They’re going to get it right, it’s just what advantage do we give Red Bull or Ferrari while they get it fixed?

“If we raced here this weekend they wouldn’t win. How long before Mercedes are in this position?”

Follow the Bahrain GP live on Sky Sports F1

Sky Sports F1 is your home for every race this season, and it all starts with the Bahrain GP this weekend.

We’ll have a set-up throughout the week before covering all the live action from the Bahrain International Circuit, from Friday’s first practice session to Sunday’s season-opening Grand Prix.

Sky Sports F1 experts Martin Brundle, David Croft, Damon Hill, Ted Kravitz, Simon Lazenby, Natalie Pinkham and Naomi Schiff will all be in Bahrain to bring you unparalleled analysis and expert knowledge.

In a 2022 twist, the drivers’ press conference will take place on the Friday morning before the two practice sessions and our live F1 show, recapping the action.

Saturday qualifying and Sunday race – both live at 3 p.m. – will be followed by Ted’s Notebook, as the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships begin in Bahrain.

As always, you can also follow the action online and on the Sky Sports app.

A new era begins here. F1 is finally back.

The Formula 1 season kicks off on Sky Sports F1 on Friday with the Bahrain GP. Sunday’s race starts at 3 p.m. Learn more & subscribe.




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