George Russell won the second starting position in the F1 qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. Only Max Verstappen was faster than the Briton, and the Mercedes driver said he was disappointed that he did not win the best starting position, which he was behind by 0.236 seconds, with the unexpected resurrection of the Silver Arrows on the streets of Albert Park.
Although Mercedes did not prepare major innovations for this race, the W14 car proved to be quite competitive in relatively cold conditions and the German team recorded the best qualifying of the season with Russell's achievement and Lewis Hamilton's third place.
"We didn't expect that, that's for sure," said Russell after qualifying, who finished the second free practice 0.8 seconds behind the fastest practice time set by Fernando Alonso. "The car was lively, but I drove the lap completely on the limit and in the end I'm a little disappointed that we didn't manage to win the best starting position. Expectations change quickly in this sport, as yesterday we would have been happy to be in the top five. But the car was great and with this result we showed that we still have a lot of room for improvement."
The Briton admitted that the team is not entirely sure what has prevented the improvement of the racing car's form. "We have to understand that, but we are satisfied with the achievement."
Hamilton added that Mercedes achieved a dream result. "Completely unexpected, I'm really proud of the team. George showed himself perfectly in the session, and the fact that we are in the first two starting rows is really a dream result for us. We are working hard to get back to the front and to be so close to Red Bull is really amazing.”
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