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George Russell has admitted he still has “a lot to improve” despite his impressive start to life at Mercedes, which has seen the 24-year-old take an early lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the championship standings.
Despite Mercedes’ early struggles, Russell has performed well during his first season with the team and secured a podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend. It continued his streak of consecutive top-five finishes to open the season but despite his consistency the British driver said he is not yet the complete “package”, at least compared to seven-time world champion Hamilton.
When reflecting upon his start to the season, Russell told reporters ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix: “I just focus on myself and try and do the best job possible – and wherever that leaves me, I’ll sort of review from there.
“I believe in myself but I’ve still got a lot to improve. I don’t feel like I’m truly optimising the package and, compared to Lewis, I’ve still got room to improve in a number of aspects.”
Mercedes have been cautious following an improved performance at the Circuit de Catalunya last weekend, with team boss Toto Wolff warning that the race in Monte Carlo is a historically difficult circuit for the team.
But Russell is optimistic ahead of the rest of the season and believes Mercedes are now “in the mix” for contention alongside Red Bull and Ferrari. “Now we know this is our baseline, we can really build off that and find a lot more performance,” he said.
“I’m definitely confident. This has put us much more in the mix. We had our best result as a team [during qualifying] and we were always there in the top three, top four, generally all weekend.
“I think we’re excited to see what the coming races bring. But it’s still gonna take a couple more races until we really find a lot more pace.”