George Russell has called topping the final day of the Bahrain Formula 1 test “a special experience” but accepts it counts for little as he focused on helping Mercedes develop its W10.

The Williams driver returned to Mercedes for testing duties, qualifying as a young driver under F1 rules having contested only two races, and completed 101 laps which concluded with qualifying simulations to see the British driver top the times with a 1m 29.029s using the softest compound Pirelli tyres.

Despite setting the fastest lap time of the test, Russell says he took greater satisfaction from the development work for Mercedes and with gains in his own driving.

“Timings don't mean a lot in testing but it’s always a special experience to be on top of the timesheets,” Russell said. “We had a very productive day today, the team learned a lot of things to help them progress.

“Driving a different car than usual, I personally also learned a lot which I can take back to further improve my driving.”

F1 Fan Festival promo

Video Thumbnail: 

Mercedes chief engineer Andrew Shovlin confirmed the team suffered a water leak in the afternoon which curtailed some of its programme, having already been restrained on day one by the rain showers, but is confident the team found key development and setup information which can be used for the upcoming races as it looks to fight back against a resurgence from Ferrari.

“The morning had been successful, we had a packed programme due to the rain yesterday but were getting through the items very well,” Shovlin said. “Unfortunately, at lunch we spotted a small water leak that wasn’t a quick fix which delayed our afternoon programme quite considerably.

“Whilst we couldn’t complete all our test items, we’ve done the important bits and we leave here with more information and understanding of the car and tyres and we’ve managed to test some developments that we plan to roll out over the next few races.

“It’s been great to have George back in our car for the day and many thanks to Williams for allowing it. He did an excellent job today, the way he goes about testing and his consistency and feedback would make you think he has a couple of seasons of F1 under his belt, not just two races.”



Loading Comments...