George Russell backed to bring Mercedes ‘even more upwards’ due to two ‘amazing’ skills

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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George Russell has a “combination of talent and intelligence” which could help Mercedes with their struggles. Williams test driver Roy Nissany believes many drivers have one of these skills but Russell benefits from both.

Nissany worked with Russell when the Briton starred at Williams ahead of his Mercedes move. The Israeli added Russell was good in debriefs and always told the team how to improve the car in a “diligent and intelligent way”.

This could prove vital for the Silver Arrows who have struggled for pace over the opening three races. Speaking to Express Sport, Nissany said: “I believe what George has is an amazing combination of talent and intelligence.

“You see many drivers who have one of the two but George Russell has both. I can see on his data when I compare my driving data to his, I see where he is expressing and where he is very fast.

“I can hear it in the debriefs when he is discussing what the team can do to improve the car in a very diligent and intelligent way. This combination brought him to where he is and he well deserved that and will probably bring him even more upwards.”

The German manufacturer have had the third-fastest car on the grid this season and trails both Ferrari and Red Bull by around one second in qualifying. However, Russell and team-mate Lewis Hamilton have had consistency on their side, picking up crucial points as others have faltered.

Red Bull’s double retirement in Bahrain handed Hamilton a podium and Russell a strong fourth-placed finish. A mid-race safety car and Verstappen’s retirement in Melbourne also played to Russell’s advantage.

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The rookie has now picked up three top-five finishes this season and lies second in the drivers’ standings. Mercedes also sit second in the team’s standings but are already a long way behind the dominant Ferrari.

The Silver Arrows are expected to bring significant upgrades to the next race at Imola and or in Miami at the start of May. Team principal Toto Wolff has pledged to not rest until the team is back competing at the front.

However, he praised both Russell and Hamilton’s resolve for picking up points after the race in Australia.

He said: “Seeing Lewis and George perform at an exceptionally high-level today with a tool that is clearly not on the pace of the leaders is another example of the spirit of this team. We are optimistic yet realistic on the timeline for improvement and the advantage our competitors have, but P3 and P4 helps us leave Australia with a good feeling.”

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