George Russell Is Disappointed for Not Beating Max Verstappen Despite Qualifying 2nd for the Australian GP

Tejas Venkatesh
|Published April 01, 2023

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were delighted with Mercedes’s pace during the Qualifying session of the 2023 Australian GP. The Mercedes duo qualified P2 and P3 respectively putting in their best Saturday performance of the season so far.

Both Russell and Hamilton were frustrated with the W14’s handling and pace in the first two races. But the Silver Arrows have managed to fix some of their underlying issues. And it seems the 8-time constructor’s champions are finding their rhythm again.

Russell was shocked to see the car’s pace. However, the Briton was unhappy to not beat Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for the pole position after coming so close to the pace of Red Bull.

George Russell was disappointed to not claim pole position

Russell believed Mercedes stood no chance to beat Red Bull on track this year. However, the Australian GP gave the Silver Arrows a favorable result and a chance to celebrate.

Russell managed to slot his car in the front row. And the Briton could not believe the improved performance of the struggling W14 as he claimed on his radio, “Not too shabby! I thought our car was one second off the pace!”

With Hamilton managing to qualify 3rd, Russell stated post-quali that the entire team was just as shocked as he was. He added, “We weren’t expecting that, that’s for sure!”


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The driver credited his team for working relentlessly on the car during the week off. But the Briton was disappointed to not bag the pole position knowing how good they were at Albert Park.

Russell added, “A lot of hard work going on back at the factory, and here in Melbourne. What a session for us. The car felt alive and the lap was on the limit. It’s a little bit disappointing that we didn’t get the pole position.”

Russell believes Mercedes outperformed their expectations

A few weeks back, both Goerge Russell and Lewis Hamilton weren’t pleased with their 2023 car. However, the Mercedes duo claims the team made the right decisions for the race.

Russell asserts, ahead of the race, his team would have been satisfied to start 4th or 5th. But the youngster underlined how close the competition in F1 is this season.

Russell claimed, “It’s one of those things when your expectations change so quickly in this sport. We probably would have been happy with a top 4 or 5 yesterday but the car felt awesome. It shows we have potential still to come.”

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The Mercedes driver claims there is still room for improvement in the W14. However, he takes the 2nd place start as a step in the right direction. He added, “We’ll take it. It’s going to be tough to get to Max, but we are happy to be lined up P2.”

Russell managed to finish just 2-tenths behind Verstappen which is impressive indeed. This was the first time both Mercedes drivers qualified in the top three since the 2022 Mexico City GP.

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About the author

Tejas Venkatesh

Tejas Venkatesh

Tejas Venkatesh is a Motorsports writer at The SportsRush. He started watching F1 in 2007 and fell in love with the sound of the revving V8s. A technical nerd, tejas loves to nerd over the technical beauty only motorsports can achieve. He calls himself a Vettel fanboy and spent the night crying after Hockenheim 2018. Apart from F1, Tejas is an avid Chelsea Fan and loves football.

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