George Russell has fired a warning to Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso, claiming he wants to get past them “as soon as possible”. Russell stressed there was “no reason” Mercedes can’t be in the fight at the front of the field if they had a good start tomorrow.
However, the Mercedes rookie will have to do it the hard way after struggling in qualifying and falling down to eighth. He said: “As the session progressed everything sort of got slowly worse.
“I had really good confidence in Q1 and we were in the top three for the majority and then we sort of didn’t have that come Q3 when it mattered. We definitely had the pace to be P4 or P5 today.
“I made a mistake when it mattered on the last lap. So a little bit disappointing but there is definitely the promise there.
READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton delivers qualifying verdict as Mercedes struggle
Russell and Hamilton had looked quick enough to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull throughout the dry practice sessions. The pair were also consistently setting times third and fourth fastest as the rain came down in Q1 and Q2.
However, both were off the pace in Q3 with Hamilton only fast enough for fifth. Hamilton said he was “gutted” with his finishing position after revealing the team could have challenged closer to the front.
The seven-time champiom said: “I’m a little bit gutted really because obviously we have such a great crowd here and I was pushing so hard to get on the front row and fight for pole position today, and I think we could have been in the top three.
“I was gunning for second at least and so to end fifth, it makes tomorrow tough but I know I’ve got this amazing crowd with me so I’ll try to push forward.”