George Russell has taken a moment to address concerns about his performance compared to his illustrious Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, at the Mexico City Grand Prix. As the race unfolded, the disparity in their performance became increasingly evident, but Russell remains optimistic about the future.
Russell’s qualifying session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez saw him secure the eighth position, while Hamilton managed to clinch the sixth spot. However, the real drama unfolded on the track during the race, where Hamilton showcased his exceptional racing skills, climbing from sixth to second by the time the checkered flag waved.
Russell faced a challenging race, finding himself locked behind the McLaren of Oscar Piastri during the initial stint. As the race progressed, he encountered mounting pressure from Daniel Ricciardo, which ultimately led to him losing positions. Russell’s race ended on a slightly disappointing note as he crossed the finish line in sixth place, behind his teammate.
Notably, the Mexico City Grand Prix marked only the second occasion since the summer break that George Russell managed to finish ahead of Lewis Hamilton when both Mercedes cars reached the end of the race. Their previous encounter was in Italy, where Russell secured a superior position. Russell acknowledged the performance gap, expressing his thoughts on the race’s closing stages, where he lagged behind Hamilton by 28 seconds.
“It was like driving on ice for the last 15 laps, which was a pretty miserable feeling, and I was very lucky to finish P6,” Russell commented in a post-race interview with media, including RacingNews365. He also reflected on Mercedes’ strong performance in Mexico City in the previous season, noting that they qualified on the front row and came close to securing a podium finish.
Russell elaborated on the dynamics of this year’s race, emphasizing the significance of tire management. “We’ve definitely performed well, but this weekend has been about tires, as it has been for everyone. Qualifying was a total surprise for many teams, for good or bad, but I’m hopeful Brazil won’t be that sensitive [on tires].”
Despite the recent struggles, George Russell remains optimistic and undeterred. He emphasized that he is not overly concerned about the performance deficit to Lewis Hamilton. Russell attributed the disparity in performance to different reasons in the last two race weekends. In the United States, it was fuel saving that impacted tire performance, while in Mexico City, the issue was related to the brakes. Russell expressed the need for clarity and further investigation to address these performance challenges.
“I’m not too worried because of the reason behind [the deficit to Hamilton]. It’s been two race weekends in a row, two different reasons; Last time [in the United States] it was the fuel [saving] which lost the tires, this weekend it was the brakes. We need some clarity,” Russell explained.