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Russell on duty for Mercedes in Bahrain

NEWS STORY
01/04/2019

Williams driver George Russell will be on duty for Mercedes at this week's Bahrain test as the German teams sets about matching the "unbelievable" pace of the Ferrari.

The youngster, who is having a torrid time with the FW42, which has a fundamental issue which will take months to fix, will finally get to stretch his legs when he drives the W10 on Wednesday.

Having won the opening two races, albeit with a little help from Lady Luck on Sunday, Russell will notice a big difference when he gets behind the wheel of the W10 on Wednesday. Indeed, scheduled to drive the Williams on Tuesday morning, before handing over to Robert Kubica, the Briton will almost experience a back-to-back comparison.

On Tuesday Lewis Hamilton will be on duty, as the German teams sets about matching what team boss Toto Wolff describes as the unbelievable speed of the Ferrari.

"We expected them to be strong in Melbourne after what we'd seen in terms of pace in Barcelona testing," said the Austrian following yesterday's race. "So Melbourne was more the surprise than actually Bahrain.

"Bahrain was very strong," he admitted. " Straight-line performance is unbelievable, the power they have displayed is unmatched by anybody. There was, I think, in qualifying five-tenths on the straights... that is really difficult to compete with.

"So we have to get used to this level of performance in my opinion and see Melbourne as the outlier," he admitted.

"It's never one silver bullet or one simple action," he said, when asked how Mercedes must set about matching the Ferrari's pace. "But the drag levels we have calculated would have been a tenth maybe in difference. It's sheer power.

"This is the analysis of the twenty-four hours," he said. "Obviously lots of data was collected, we have seen different power levels in the race also between the cars. So that needs to be digested now.

"But I would say if they are able to hold the power on the level, and I don't know what made the engine fail, but if they are able to maintain those power levels in Shanghai on a power sensitive circuit like Shanghai, they are the favourites, clearly. Because the lap time benefit might even be more than in Bahrain."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Sakhir, here.

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1. Posted by Anthony, 01/04/2019 15:54

"Good experience for George and hopefully it will provide further insight into areas that Williams need to improve."

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