George Stars with Fastest Time in Sakhir GP practice
George set the fastest time in both practice sessions for Formula 1’s Sakhir Grand Prix as the Brit made an impressive start to deputising for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.
Not only was it Russell’s debut Grand Prix weekend for the reigning champion team, but he also adapted quickly to the first use of the Bahrain Outer Track.
He climbed to the top of the timesheets with a 54.546 effort ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.
George would pick up where he left off in the second practice session, going top of the times during the Qualifying simulations courtesy of a 54.713 lap time. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas ended Friday 11th.
The 2018 Formula 2 champion then spent the remainder of the session working on race simulations and found further areas to improve and refine on Saturday.
The Brit completed 97 laps in a productive opening day, improving throughout proceedings and acclimatising to working with the Mercedes team.
“It was a good first day in the W11 but there’s definitely work to be done. The new track layout is very different to the usual layout here, and it’s not an easy track to say the least. It’s going to be very tight in qualifying and we can probably expect a dramatic race.
It’s been good to be working with the team today and I’m learning a lot every single lap I’m in the car. I think my lap times are a bit deceiving at the moment and not the true representation of the pace. I struggled on the high fuel runs in FP2 and ultimately that’s going to be key on Sunday.
The Red Bulls were quick on the long runs – and Valtteri was quickest in FP2 but had his lap time deleted. It’s going to be close, so we’ll get our heads down tonight.
There’s still a lot of work to do to get comfortable in the car and with the set-up. But it’s been an encouraging first day and I’m excited to be back in the W11 tomorrow. “
George will be back for FP3 at 14:00 GMT on Saturday December 5.