Tricky opening day in Baku for George
George ends Friday practice in P7 ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Beginning a blustery first practice session, George opted to run the Medium Pirelli tyres to set a benchmark 1.54.121 lap time on his first run.
Improving into P12 with a 1.49.854 by the midpoint in the session, George returned to the pits to switch onto the Soft tyres.
The Brit quickly moved up into the top-10 with his best lap time of 1.46.705 to end FP1 in P8.
As the temperatures began to drop for FP2, George took to the track on the Medium tyres in the opening stages of the session to quickly slot into P5 with a 1.46.749.
Switching to the Soft tyres, the Brit delivered his best time of 1.44.548 before changing back to the Medium tyres for the final 20 minutes of the session to complete some race runs.
George ended Friday’s running in P7 with 50 laps under his belt ahead of Saturday’s all-important qualifying.
George Russell – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Driver
It was a tricky day and clearly, we weren't as competitive as we'd have liked to be. It's a tough track to get the tyres switched on and in the right window. You saw a number of other drivers set their fastest times right at the end of a run, whereas Ferrari and Red Bull seem able to just turn it on. At the moment, they have an inherently quicker car than us and we're doing everything we can to catch up.
Even if we get on top of the tyres, that's only 50% of the problem, the other 50% is just car performance. Now with the cars are running so close to the ground, in the high-speed corners the cars are fully bottoming out and it's the same for everybody, it's really not comfortable to drive.
I don't know what the future holds for this era of cars but I can't see us running like this for the next four years so, for all of us, conversations will be needed as we're all in the same boat.