George Russell hits back at critics calling Mercedes 'failures'

George Russell has dismissed the notion that Mercedes’ season has been a’failure’ so far ahead of Formula One’s return this weekend.

With the summer break over, it’s time to go racing again, starting with the Dutch Grand Prix where once again Max Verstappen and Red Bull are expected to cruise to victory.

Red Bull have won all 12 race so far in 2023, with their star driver aiming to delight his home fans and match Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive wins.

With the RB19 by far and away the quickest car on the grid, many believe the team could go the entire season unbeaten, something that would be very embarrassing for everyone else, especially frontrunners like Mercedes and Ferrari.

Russell, who is currently sixth in the standings and has finished on the podium just once this year, agrees that it’s not a position he or the Silver Arrows want to be in but does not believe it’s all been a bust.

‘As a team we’ve gone from strength to strength. There were a lot of expectations of us, going into the season,’ he said in Thursday’s pre-race press conference.

‘Perhaps that’s why people are calling our season a bit of a failure. Of course, it’s far from where we want it to be, because we want to be fighting for championships. 

‘But to call P2 in the championship, 50 points ahead of P3, a failure? It’s far from a reality.

‘We know that we’ve got a lot to improve. In the second half of the season, hopefully we can be there to pick up any pieces.’

Russell his maiden – and the last non-Red Bull – win in Brazil last year, and remains optimistic of another shock victory in the remainder of this season.

Setting out his targets for the next 10 races, he added: ‘You never know. Last year we had the mentality that Singapore would be our only opportunity to win. 

‘When we didn’t win there was disappointment and no expectation going into Brazil, but we came away with the victory there.

‘It’s close between us, Aston Martin, Ferrari and McLaren. We’re consistently there fighting between the second and third fastest teams.

‘Our team have done an amazing job to maximise points. I’m not going to say we’re the second fastest team, but we’re in a strong position to secure P2.’

Sir Lewis Hamilton echoed his teammate’s remarks and is hopeful that he can help Mercedes secure second in the constructors’ and get himself into P2 in the drivers’ championship.

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