Big surprise this Saturday in Melbourne qualifying with both Mercedes drivers in the top three at the end of the session, ahead of the Aston Martins and Ferraris.
Second on the grid for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, George Russell admits that neither he nor Mercedes expected such a performance this weekend.
Since the start of the season, the Mercedes team has lagged behind Red Bull and Aston Martin in terms of performance, but in Saturday’s qualifying session in Melbourne, the two Mercedes drivers finished ahead of the Aston Martins and Ferraris.
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Mercedes fast on Saturday
George Russell finished second, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton will start this Sunday just behind him in third.
“We didn’t expect this, that’s for sure. There’s been a lot of hard work at the factory and here in Melbourne, and what a session!” said George Russell after the Australian Grand Prix qualifying session.
“The car felt alive. My lap at the end, I was on the limit to be honest, and I’m even a little disappointed that I didn’t get pole.”
A first pole Down Under for @Max33Verstappen 🙃#AusGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/5Uq78LZAx2
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 1, 2023
“That’s the beauty [of F1], your expectations change so quickly in this sport. We would have been happy with a top four or top five yesterday. But the car was just great, and there’s still potential to come.”
“Maybe it’s due to the time difference [with Europe], maybe that’s why we do things well. But we have to learn when we have good days and bad days.”
“It’s going to be exciting tomorrow [in the race], it’s going to be tough against Max, but I’m so happy to finish P2.”
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Australian Grand Prix qualification
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin|
|Lance Stroll||Aston Martin|
|Nyck de Vries||AlphaTauri|
|Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo|
|Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo|
|Sergio Perez||Red Bull|