Russell indicated that his Mercedes team – which is currently fourth-fastest after two days – is aware it has some catching up to do.
Lando Norris’s McLaren and the two Ferraris had locked out the opening day of the test before Charles Leclerc headed the timesheets on day two – but all of this came with the widespread understanding that the laptimes recorded were largely an irrelevance.
After the second day of testing, George Russell gave his opinion on Mercedes’ pace and the issues caused by the new cars ‘porpoising’ on the straights.
After completing 66 laps on the second day of the Barcelona test, George Russell gave his comments on the session.
“This is really intriguing, this test,” the Briton said.
“Obviously with a new car, new tyres, a different dynamic out there, you could see substantial issues with the cars on the straights and a bottoming.
“There is a compromise we need to find to go quickest around the lap and I don’t think it is something any of the teams would have experienced before but we are seeing some interesting things out there. That is what testing is for.”
Russell went on to say that Ferrari and McLaren look to be ahead of Mercedes at this moment.
“Some teams are looking pretty fast – a red team and an orange team, in particular, look very, very competitive.
“But we’ll see what tomorrow brings and what we can do between here and Bahrain. [Mercedes is] certainly not ahead, pretty sure of that.
They seem to have things well under control. They are on top of everything and look very strong in low and high fuel and with the tyre management. Who knows!
“We all know that we are on different programmes but we definitely know from the average of all the different runs, we’re behind them at the moment. So let’s wait and see.
“The championship’s not won in Barcelona pre-season testing, but it’s certainly been an intriguing two days for now.”
Russell also commented on the new cars experiencing ‘porpoising’ on the straights. ‘Porpoising’ is phenomenon where the difference in air pressure above and below the car creates intermittent aero stalling, which leads to the cars doing a bouncing motion.
“We didn’t experience it too much between one thing and the other, but it is not too pleasant at all.
“From what I have seen from other teams, in particular, it would be a safety concern so that does need to be sorted one way or another.
“But there is a lot of intelligent people up and down this grid so I am sure everyone will get on top of it sooner or later,” the Briton concluded.
Mercedes is certainly not ahead of McLaren and Ferrari – says Russell Mercedes is certainly not ahead of McLaren and Ferrari – says Russell